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Coroner's Report for Inmate Rachel Barnes

Steve Wagner

A few weeks ago, we brought you the tragic news of yet another inmate death in an Indiana jail. This time, the LaPorte County Jail was holding Rachel Barnes. Barnes was found dead in her cell a mere 30 hours after her arrest, and the autopsy was scheduled shortly thereafter.

The Coroner’s report has just been released, and we are so sorry to say that Barnes’ death was the result of alcohol withdrawal. The Coroner’s report stated that Barnes had water on her lungs and that her liver was enlarged, both signs of serious alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol withdrawal, if not managed with medical assistance, can lead to a serious condition known as Delirium Tremens (DT’s), which is frequently fatal.

Before Barnes’ arrest, she crashed her vehicle into a pond. The Coroner stated that it’s likely Barnes swallowed water in the pond during the crash, and that hindered her breathing. Barnes also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

When Barnes was arrested, she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.447%, which is over 5x the legal limit for driving. And yet, she was not put on an around-the-clock watch in LaPorte County Jail, she was not given proper medical attention, and she died as a result of alcohol withdrawal.

Wagner Reese has handled numerous wrongful death and jail death cases in our years of service to Indiana citizens, including the wrongful death of Shane Satterfield, and many others. If your loved one has suffered injury or death in an Indiana jail, the wrongful death attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in recovering financial damages for the losses you have sustained. Give us a call at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation.


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