Trial continues for correctional officer accused in death of inmate

James Ramsey-Guy

MILWAUKEE -- Thursday, Jan. 17 marks day three of the trial  for James Ramsey-Guy. He’s the now former correctional officer charged in connection with the death of Terrill Thomas, an inmate who died at the Milwaukee County Jail.

Jury selection started Monday, and took nearly two days.

Terrill Thomas died in custody in April of 2016, when water was shut off in his cell. It was off for a week, and Thomas died of dehydration. His death was ruled a homicide.

Thomas was jailed after a shooting at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. In custody, officials said he flooded his cell — prompting the order to turn off the water.

An official with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office testified Thomas lost 10 percent of his body weight during the time he was locked in his cell with no water. He went without water for a week.

The deputy medical examiner said she performed the autopsy on Thomas.

"His lips appeared to be very dry," said Dr. Wieslawa Tlomak.

Terrill Thomas after he was initially arrested

Medical examiners testified in addition to being dehydrated, Thomas also lost a significant amount of weight.

"His weight was about 10 percent less than his usual weight," said Dr. Tlomak.

Ramsey-Guy was the correctional officer assigned to shut the water off. He's on trial for neglecting Thomas. He faces a felony count of abuse of residents of penal facilities. Prosecutors said Ramsey-Guy should have alerted workers on the next shift that the water was off.

Ramsey-Guy’s defense attorney argued Ramsey-Guy was just doing his job. The defense pointed out the supervisor who ordered the water to be shut off and the worker responsible for keeping logs of activities in the cells failed at their jobs.

Nancy Evans, Kashka Meadors, James Ramsey-Guy

Two other now former staffers also face charges. Nancy Evans faces one felony count of misconduct in office-act/inconsistent duty, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing an officer. She has a jury trial scheduled for February. Kashka Meadors was charged with felony abuse of residents of penal facilities. She pleaded no contest in October, and will be sentenced on Jan. 28. Evans is the former commander, and Meadors a former supervisor.

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