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State Report Faults Durham Jail In Teen's Suicide

Durham County Jail
Laura Candler

An investigation by North Carolina authorities shows that guards at a county jail failed to properly check on a teen shortly before she hanged herself.

The News & Observer of Raleigh, citing the state Department of Health and Human Services, reports that Durham County jail officers failed to check on 17-year-old Uniece Fennell regularly and did not report a tip from another inmate that the girl was a threat to herself.

The girl was found hanged March 23. The Office of the Medical Examiner ruled Fennell's death a suicide. She had been in jail since last July on a murder charge. She had been accused of being involved in a drive-by shooting.

New Durham jail director Col. Anthony Prignano said he's implemented new policies to make sure officers are checking on inmates in accordance with state regulations.

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