Prosecutor finds no crimes in death of Jackson jail inmate

The Jackson County prosecutor’s office says no crimes were committed by staff or inmates at the county jail in the July death of inmate Ta’Neasha Chappell. And that theories on her death that were put forth by family members and fellow inmates did not pan out.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Chalfant released the 15-page report Friday afternoon, saying that the focus of the review was whether any crimes were committed by inmates or employees at the Jackson County Jail leading up to Chappell’s death. He concluded that there was no evidence of a criminal homicide in her death. He also wrote that the report makes no findings and no conclusions about the standard of care provided by jail employees.

The report also investigated claims by inmates that Chappell had been poisoned with a cleaning agent and found no evidence of a poisoning. The autopsy concluded that Chappell did not die from any puncture wounds, asphyxiation, or blunt force trauma. The autopsy concluded that her manner of death remains undetermined.

Sheriff Rick Meyer released a statement thanking the State Police for their work and the public’s patience as the investigation was completed. He stressed that Chappell was not denied medical care and that efforts were made by the jail staff to address her medical needs.

Chappell was being held at the jail on various charges after an incident in May, where she was accused of theft from the Edinburgh Premium Outlet Mall, then fleeing from police at speeds of up to 100 mph through Bartholomew, Jackson, Scott and Clark counties, before crashing into the rear of a truck near Clarksville.

Chappell fell ill on July 15th in the jail. She was taken to Schneck Medical Center on the afternoon of July 16th, where she died later that evening.

The investigation was completed by Indiana State Police and forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review.

PDF – Chappell – death investigation report