Crime

Jurors, witnesses shed tears during second trial for George County nurse accused in inmate’s death

Carmon Brannan, a former jail nurse, will spend 15 years in prison for killing George County inmate Joel Dixon by failing in her duty to provide him medical attention. Dixon, a diabetic, grew sicker and sicker as he went without insulin for seven days, dying Sept. 24, 2014.
Carmon Brannan, a former jail nurse, will spend 15 years in prison for killing George County inmate Joel Dixon by failing in her duty to provide him medical attention. Dixon, a diabetic, grew sicker and sicker as he went without insulin for seven days, dying Sept. 24, 2014. Sun Herald file

Two former George County jailers cried Tuesday when they testified about how they tried to get medical treatment for jail detainee William Joel Dixon the same week he was found dead on the floor of his jail cell.

The two former jailers said they reached out to former jail nurse Carmon Brannan to help Dixon, an insulin-dependent diabetic.

Diane Eckhart first realized Dixon, 28, was in such grave shape on Sept. 23, 2014, when she went to his cell and saw dark fluids on the floor around his bed in his cell in a segregated area in the jail.

Though Dixon’s speech was slurred, she said, Dixon managed to communicate that he was “sick” and that “he couldn’t get up.”

The following day, jailers would find Dixon dead after seven days spent without the insulin he needed to treat diabetes.

That and other testimony came out Tuesday in the second manslaughter trial for Brannan. She is accused of causing the Sept. 24, 2014, death of Dixon.

Her first trial ended in a hung jury. The defense asked for a change of venue for the second trial.

A Warren County jury is hearing the case this week in Vicksburg.

Three of the jurors in Carmon Sue Brannan’s manslaughter trial in George County blame one juror who refused to vote to convict, leaving the jury deadlocked at 11-1. The trial ended in a mistrial. Brannan, a nurse at the George County Regional Corr

At the time of Dixon’s death, he was in jail on DUI, child endangerment and drug charges.

Passed out in the shower

The day Eckhart went to get Dixon from his cell, a Drug Court official had called for a meeting with him. She asked Brannan to check on Dixon.

Brannan told her Dixon was “faking,” that his vital signs “were better than probably mine and yours combined.”

Eckhart said she had to ask jailers to get Dixon out of the cell and get him to his appointment with the Drug Court official. She said they essentially dragged Dixon to the booking area because his legs were so limp he couldn’t walk on his own.

A phone was placed on Dixon’s ear so the official could hear from him. The meeting was called off, and Dixon was dead the following morning.

A second former jailer recalled finding Dixon passed out on the floor in the jail’s shower.

The jailer said he turned all six shower heads off and asked Brannan to help him.

Brannan, he said, told him, “she didn’t have time to see him.”

He was found dead the same day.

Tears shed

During some of Tuesday’s testimony about Dixon’s condition that last week of his life, several jurors openly cried.

Donna Dixon also cried Tuesday when asked to identity a picture of her son.

At age 16, she said doctors diagnosed her son with insulin-dependent diabetes.

But he had always managed to control it through insulin and his diet.

After his arrest in September 2014, Donna Dixon took some insulin and needles to the jail for her son.

A jailer said he saw Donna Dixon in the jail’s lobby area around the same time she said she brought the batch of insulin to the jail.

Another former jailer admitted his signature was on a form indicating a Lucedale police officer had brought a second batch of insulin to the jail for Dixon. However, that jailer said he did not recall signing the form or receiving the insulin.

Defense

The defense says Dixon had a history of drug and heath problems and did not treat his diabetes with insulin or go his doctors who treated him on a regular basis.

In addition, the defense says Dixon never asked for insulin while he was in jail and say others on staff had the authority to administer insulin to Dixon.

Testimony in Brannan’s trial resumes Wednesday morning.

More than 30 witnesses have been subpoenaed to testify.

If convicted of manslaughter, Brannan could go to prison for up to 20 years.

Check back with Sunherald.com for updates.

Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald

  Comments