Durham, N.C. — Just one day before her apparent suicide, a 17-year-old Durham inmate complained of verbal abuse by detention officers, according to her attorney.
Detectives with the Durham sheriff’s office were dispatched to the detention facility around 3:30 a.m. Thursday when detainee Uniece Glenae Fennell was found unresponsive, hanging from a bed sheet attached to a cell window. Paramedics who responded pronounced her dead at the scene.
Fennell was put in the facility on July 26, 2016 after she was arrested and charged with the murder of a 19-year-old Durham man. She was also indicted on Aug. 4, 2016, for discharging a weapon into an occupied residence and discharging a firearm with a pattern of street gang activity.
Posts on Fennell’s Facebook page showed that she maintained her innocence, saying she had nothing to do with the murder.
Not even 24 hours before Fennell was found dead, her attorney sent an email to the sheriff’s office saying a detention officer verbally abused his client.
According to the sheriff’s office, when Fennell’s attorney complained that his client had been verbally abused authorities started looking into it and found that the officer had resigned two weeks prior to the complaint.
Activists say this is a claim they hear often.