Report: Tennessee Inmate Could Be Deathly Ill

NO RESPONSE FROM COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

by Sharon Rondeau

TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield

(Jun. 11, 2015) — On Wednesday, The Post & Email received a communication from a close relative of Tennessee inmate Timothy Aaron Baxter, prisoner #304285, which indicated that Baxter could have a life-threatening illness for which he has not received proper medical care.

Last Friday, The Post & Email contacted TDOC Communications Director Neysa Taylor at (615) 253-8144 about both Baxter, who suffers from injuries and migraine headaches from a prison assault, and CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), #540003.  Both men have asked for medical attention outside of that which is available in prison.

Fitzpatrick stated in three recent letters that he is in serious need of medical and dental attention, while Baxter’s relative told us that through a recent phone call, he or she learned that Baxter has a staph infection which has gone untreated and is reportedly permeating his entire body.

On Friday, Taylor said she would relay the information we gave her to medical staff at NWCX, the facility where both men are currently incarcerated.

In early May, The Post & Email wrote a formal letter to TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield asking why no record exists of a September 11, 2009 assault on Baxter by two corrections officers after Taylor told us that there were “no responsive records” to our Open Records request for same.

On Wednesday, the relative told us:

So Tim called me before I went over to their house. He said on Friday the 5th he was seen by a Physiatrist  Coleman at the prison.  She said you look terrible. She told him that she was going to put in for him to see a medical doctor immediately or be released to get proper medical help. He has staph #2 in his mouth which is poisoning his system. He went to the clinic and asked to file a medical furlough under CR-2285 per TDOC Policy 511.01.1 and a Recie Yonders and a Ms. Morris refused to give him documentation to fill out. He said if he can’t medical help soon he feels he is going to die in there. Last week he said the infection was draining into his mouth. He said it is difficult to walk and that he has been sleeping a lot cause he feels like a old man.  I told him that you had called Nica Taylor to try and get him some help.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Post & Email contacted Taylor by email:

Hello, Ms. Taylor, I know you can’t give me any medical updates, but I wanted to provide you with new information I have received from the inmates I mentioned in my phone call to you on Friday.

Through a close relative, I learned just minutes ago that Mr. Baxter (#304285) is seriously, and perhaps deathly, ill, with a strep infection in his mouth.  Perhaps because of your action, I was told that a psychiatrist saw him on Friday, June 5 (the day we spoke) and that he attempted to fill out a request to be transported outside of the facility under CR-2285 per TDOC Policy 511.01.1.  However, the relative said that “a Ms. Morris refused to give him documentation to fill out.”  The relative then added that “He said if he can’t medical help soon he feels he is going to die in there. Last week he said the infection was draining into his mouth. He said it is difficult to walk and that he has been sleeping a lot cause he feels like a old man.”

Mr. Baxter is 36 years old.

Regarding Mr. Fitzpatrick (#540003), I received another letter from him yesterday in which he said again that he must receive medical and dental attention outside of NWCX. He did not elaborate on the details.  However, I know Mr. Fitzpatrick well, and he normally does not discuss medical conditions; in fact, he has always brushed away questions about his health in the past.

I have been reporting on the cases of both of these men for some time, and both my readership and I are greatly concerned about their present well-being.

Thank you for following up.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
www.thepostemail.com

Schofield never responded to our letter.  His office can be reached at (615) 253-8200.  As of press time, Taylor has not responded to our email.

A call to the commissioner’s office at 11:11 EDT on Thursday yielded 12 rings and no answer.

Update, 11:55 a.m. EDT:  The Post & Email went to the website of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and entered into a live chat session with an operator, who gave us a phone number, 615-741-2001, to reach the governor’s office.  We called and explained that we have not heard back from the TDOC Communications Director and that there was no answer at the Commissioner’s office.

We were then transferred to another operator, who transferred us to the voice mail of Media Relations representative Alison Randgaard.  We left the prisoners’ names and numbers, their known medical conditions, and our contact information.

Second update, 1:19 p.m. EDT:  The Post & Email has received the following response from Taylor:

From: Neysa.Taylor@tn.gov
To: editor@thepostemail.com
Subject: RE: FOLLOW UP TO LAST FRIDAY’S CALL – URGENT
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 16:42:56 +0000

Thank you for the email.  As I mentioned before due to privacy laws, we are unable to release details of offenders’ medical history.  The Tennessee Department of Correction works diligently to ensure community standard of care is provided to all incarcerated offenders.

to which we responded:

From: editor@thepostemail.com
To: neysa.taylor@tn.gov
Subject: RE: FOLLOW UP TO LAST FRIDAY’S CALL – URGENT
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 13:11:20 -0400

Yes, I am not seeking medical history, but only action for these two very sick men.  I will be back in touch with them and/or their relatives soon to see if they received it.

I am also getting written reports of NWCX correctional officers screaming at the top of their lungs at inmates without provocation and other types of threats and abuses.

Thank you.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
www.thepostemail.com

One Response to "Report: Tennessee Inmate Could Be Deathly Ill"

  1. gigclick   Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    It seems the only “communication” we will see is when the DNC packs up and runs out the back door in 2016 waving and smiling as they model after witch Hillary and her phony smiles and wild waving hands. It has been confirmed that Hillary and others were taking bets on how long the SEALS would last as they fought to their deaths on drone cameras watching live. Were are out outstanding “Federal Agencies” that are supposed to be the bright and shining stars protecting U.S. citizens and our Constitution? Where were they on the night of 2008 when Pelosi and Biden falsified Obama’s eligibility as an illegal POTUS with a dual citizenship on DNC vetting papers?

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