A Hancock County grand jury has determined that there was no wrong-doing by Hancock jail staff in the July 2020 death of a female inmate.
Lauren Lindsey Darnell, 33, of Ocean Springs, was found dead in her cell on Saturday, July 25, 2020.
“After full and deliberate consideration of all the facts and circumstances leading up to” Darnell’s death “and the circumstances as they existed at the time,” according to a grand jury report issued Thursday, “the grand jury finds no criminal conduct on behalf of the corrections officers, jail medical staff or any other direct or subcontracted employee of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.”
The grand jury also determined that “no further action is warranted by this body.”
After Darnell’s death, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release that said “There appears to be no suspicious circumstances” around Darnell’s death, but said the matter had been turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation “out of an abundance of caution.”
Darnell was arrested in Hancock County four days before her death on Jackson County warrants for probation violation and contempt of court — failure to appear, jail records show.
Officers said at the time that Darnell had showed no signs of coronavirus when she was booked into the jail.
The Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office reportedly performed an autopsy, but the results have not been released publicly.