New Mother Died In Cell As Jailers Mocked Her; Now Her Family Can't See The Child
A grainy jailhouse video captured some of the last steps Nimali Henry took before she died.
The video, played during the prosecution of the four ex-deputies accused of neglecting her, show Nimali as she deteriorated near the end of her 10 days in the St. Bernard Parish jail. Staggering, faltering and eventually passing out on a cold, hard bunk in an isolation cell.
Nimali was a 19-year-old mother when she died of a rare but treatable blood disorder as deputies ignored her pleas – and those of fellow inmates – to help the dying woman. Denied a trip to the hospital. Denied the medicine that would have saved her life.
“When I think about my sister's last hours, days, it just makes me very sick,” her sister Deshawna Henry said.
Nimali’s grandmother, Prisca Anslem, said, “I still have a hard time to sleep. I just can't understand how people could be so wicked.”
Court records show that Nimali was mocked by jailers who accused her of faking her illness. As inmates testified, she passed out, bleeding, even as they urged desperately deputies to help.
Nimali died on April 1, 2014. It took seven tense years, but in March, four of the former St. Bernard Sheriff's deputies who were responsible for Nimali were sentenced in connection with her death after pleading guilty.
“I don't want them to suffer from it,” Nimali’s younger brother Jah-Keim Isidore said after the sentencings, “but I want them to actually have a change in heart.”
Debra Becnel was sentenced to three months for lying to the FBI. Lisa Vaccarella got 21 months for lying to the FBI and misprision, failing to report a crime. Former corporal Timothy Williams, got 57 months for violating Nimali’s civil rights. The jail's ex-medical director and captain, Andre Dominick, got 60 months on the same civil rights violation.