An inmate in the Kentucky State Penitentiary has died after starving himself to death, the Associated Press reports. His death is under criminal review by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, and the doctor responsible for care in the prison has been fired.
Embry, who had three years left on a nine-year drug sentence, stopped taking his anti-anxiety medication in May; his behavior became erratic, and he started refusing meals in December, ultimately refusing 32 of the last 33 meals he was served (and he did not eat the single tray of food he did accept). The 6-foot inmate weighed just 138 pounds when he died, yet prison staffers—including medical personnel—repeatedly failed to intervene. Just a few details from the AP’s disturbing timeline and story:
Embry asked to go back on anti-anxiety medications in December, but the lead prison psychologist denied the request even though Embry had spoken of wanting to harm himself.
When a nurse noted Embry was down to 138 pounds, and was weak and shaky, on Jan. 4—32 pounds less than what he weighed on Dec. 26—the lead prison physician signed off on the nurse’s report without seeing Embry.
Hours before Embry was found dead, another nurse refused a request from medical staffers to move Embry to the infirmary, and stated that he should be taken off hunger strike watch.