A Lenoir City woman is dead after a medical incident that started in Loudon County Jail.
Shonna Marie Edwards, 27, was taken into custody Aug. 25 for failure to appear. Shortly after her arrest, she was transported to Fort Loudoun Medical Center, where she died.
Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis said Edwards was placed on medical watch in a holding cell after authorities learned she had seizures and other health issues.
According to report from LCSO Cpl. Rodney Cathey, at about 8:20 p.m., Edwards appeared to have an active seizure and had difficulty breathing but still had an identifiable pulse and respirations.
“We were doing our walk-arounds and walk-throughs and noticed that it looked like she was in an active seizure when we came up on her,” Davis said. “We already had her on medical watch, so they were performing a medical watch and noticed and then started CPR.”
Edwards was taken into the open booking room in case she needed further medical intervention. Priority Ambulance and on-call jail nurses were called to the scene.
“Returning to Inmate Edwards, I observed that her breathing had become even more shallow and her lips were beginning to turn blue,” Cathey wrote in a report. “Deputy (Matthew) Chambers retrieved the Automated External Defibrillator from the property room and placed it near Inmate Edwards for use, if needed. Inmate Edwards’ visible vital signs continued to decline, and the decision was made to place the AED on Inmate Edwards to prepare for use and allow the AED to check if a ‘shock’ was needed. Upon placement, the AED failed to either initialize or display any signs of powering on.”
CPR chest compressions were initiated by deputies until EMS arrived, Davis said, adding that Edwards was taken to FLMC, where she died at about 9 p.m.
“She had signed herself out of the hospital a couple of days before,” Davis said. “... We took her up there and usually what we do if they’re going to have a sustained medical visit, it’s going to take a while for them to be, we evaluate the risk of the inmate to the general public and what their charges are. It was a failure to appear ... so we decided at that time to get her on recognizance bond, which what that does that basically releases her from our custody where we don’t have to keep a guard at the hospital. We do that quite often with medical issues that are going to take manpower and overtime costs. If they’re not a threat to the public, release them and give them another court date.”