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Attorney: Jackson County Jail Inmate Poisoned

Jackson County Jail

(Adam Pinsker WTIU/WFIU)

Ta’Neasha Chappell, 23, died July 16, after falling ill in the Jackson County jail in Brownstown. 

“My understanding from conversations with Indiana State Police is that the initial autopsy reflects that Ta’Neasha had died due to toxicity, which means she was poisoned, but that the substance is unknown,” said attorney Sam Aguiar. 

Ta'neasha Chappell
Ta'Neasha Chappell

Chappell told family members that someone had tried to poison her days before her death. 

“She was like, somebody could have put some bleach in my pickle juice,” said Roneasha Murrell, Chappell’s sister. 

Murrell said her sister, an African-American, also said inmates made a noose and put it on her pillow and directed racial slurs toward her. 

Chappell, of Louisville, was arrested in May after leading police on a chase through three counties. She was accused of stealing clothing from the Edinburgh outlet mall. 

A judge denied Chappell’s early July request for a bond reduction. 

On July 15, Chappell told jailers she was running a fever and felt sick, but the family claims the guards did nothing that night. 

“There was no reason why they all walked around and let my sister bang on the buzzer, let my sister be in poop, vomiting blood, they don't do nothing besides giving her some Tylenol because that's what ISP said they gave her,” said Murrell. 

Tayneasha Chappell Billboard
A billboard along Highway 50 outside Brownstown, Indiana asks the public for information about Ta'Neasha Chappell.

By the next day, her condition had deteriorated. Chappell was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead that evening. 

“What was the poisonous substance that got into her system that caused her health to decline so rapidly over 24 hours? And the second is how it got in her system,” asked Aguiar. 

Calls to the Jackson County Sheriff and Indiana State Police for comment on this story have not been returned.

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