Court affirms nurse's conviction in death of diabetic inmate

LUCEDALE, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed the manslaughter conviction of a former George County jail nurse in the death of a diabetic inmate who was not given insulin for a week after he was jailed on a drug charge.

The former nurse, Carmon Brannan, surrendered to authorities Tuesday and was on the way to Central Mississippi Correctional Institution, the Sun Herald reported.

Brannan had been out of prison on an appeal bond since shortly after a Warren County jury in July 2018 convicted her of manslaughter in the Sept. 14, 2014, death of William Joel Dixon.

"During his incarceration, Dixon complained that he was unable to breathe, felt weak, and could not keep any foods or liquids down," the Appeals Court wrote. “In addition, guards found Dixon on the floor of his cell and unable to walk on multiple occasions.”

Brannan was a registered nurse and the top medical authority in the jail at the time. She saw Dixon several times but did not send him for medical help, according to court records.

"At trial, Brannan maintained that she believed Dixon had been suffering from withdrawals and was detoxing from his drug use,” the Appeals Court wrote.

On appeal, Brannan wrote that her indictment was vague and that the judge had excluded evidence relevant to her defense. The Appeals Court found no reversible error.

Special Circuit Judge Richard McKenzie granted Brannan’s request for bond while she waited for a ruling on her appeal. The judge gave her a curfew and ordered her not to speak to Dixon's family, drink alcohol or have a weapon.