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Woman Jailed For Small Amount Of Marijuana Dies Two Days Later

  1. Rob Cypher
    Two sisters returning to Kansas from a trip to Colorado were pulled over on Monday for speeding. After being stopped, the Kansas police officer found a small amount of marijuana in the car. As will surely happen to many people in the near future, the sisters purchased marijuana legally in Colorado but made the mistake of bringing it across state lines.

    The officer arrested the sisters, named Brenda Sewell and Joy Biggs, and put them in jail. While in jail, Sewell was unable to take her medications. She had the pills in a daily pill container rather than in their original prescription bottles. County officials say they were unable to determine what each pill was, and, because of this, could not allow Sewell to take her medications. She’d been taking medicine for hepatitis C, fibromyalgia, and thyroid problems for over a decade.

    On Wednesday, after being off her medications for two days, Sewell fell ill in her jail cell. She was reportedly foaming at the mouth before passing out. Biggs and another inmate alerted authorities of the emergency while trying to revive her.

    According to Biggs, jail authorities responded slowly to the emergency. Sewell was eventually transported to the hospital where she was soon pronounced dead. Her distraught family now wants to know why authorities took so long to respond to an obvious health emergency in their jail.

    In addition to questions surrounding the jail’s response time, Sewell’s family is at a loss for what could have caused her to fall so ill in the first place.

    “She had some health problems but nothing that was life-threatening; it was under control,” the woman’s younger brother said.

    The Sherman County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office told the Wichita Eagle they would not speak on Sewell’s death until the ongoing investigation wrapped up.

    “At this time as is typical in cases like this the investigation was immediately turned over to an outside agency,” the office said. “No further comments will be made pending the results of autopsy and outside investigation.”

    Jonathan Wolfe
    Opposing Viewpoints
    January 24, 2014



  1. sweetbebe
    That's horrible, what a sad story. And one would think that if they didn't know what her pills were, they could contact her doctor or someone who knows about medications to verify that these were indeed the pills she needed. It smells like negligence to me.
  2. godztear
    To the above poster: No natural condition results in you foaming from the mouth until death without medication.

    As negligent as this sounds, as well may be, a thorough autopsy must be performed. She may as well have drown in her own mucus, but clearly she was not foaming at the mouth due to her conditions or marijauna arrest.
  3. Alien Sex Fiend
    this is an interesting article... very professional work there pigs. I doubt that not taking pills for hepatitis C, fibromyalgia, and thyroid problems will curl off someone in two days. Even Aids-infected can survive two days without meds. its not like blood thinners or heart meds
  4. AKA_freckles
    Godztear - How do you know no known 'natural' condition results in foaming at the mouth before death? I am not being snarky, I just want to understand.
  5. godztear
    Freckles, its science. Foaming at the mouth could only be misconstrued as fybro- M. It highly possible that the inmates knew this and ran with the idea.

    The thing is, it doesn't work that way. you suffocate in your own mucas because it cannot be "shook" off your bronciles.
  6. scimor
    Why the hell was she in jail for TWO DAYS for a small amount of marijuana anyway? WTF?
  7. Kaden
    Maybe if she was more prettier, the officers
    would of cared.
  8. Willyzh
    First and foremost, my heart goes out to all affected by this horrible event. Families, affected inmates, and also the corrections officers who were unable to assist this unfortunate beautiful young woman, as their psyches are undoubtedly marred by this kind of catastrophe (to watch a young lady die and be unable to assist in a way that prevents the fatality in time)

    Could you please back up this sweeping generalization with sources/references?

    Because I already knew, and also found for you as a reference, the following:

    Foaming at the mouth, however is not a symptom of fibromyalgia and would never be misconstrued as such by a doctor. Once again, sources referencing your claims would certainly substantiate them. Fibromyalgia is a neuromuscular disease that is seemingly related to psychological stressors, and manifests as pain and tension in the body.

    Incidentally, GABA agonists are the most popular medicine for fibromyalgia, due to their ability to moderate stress signals and lessen the pain that those stresses lead to...

    ...And gaba agonist withdrawal is the cause of seizures resulting in death when a patient discontinues their gaba agonist meds abruptly after years of dependence. I don't need to back that up with facts because it's a known, but I will anyway...


    While I do agree an autopsy is necessary to determine cause of death, I bet that it is withdrawal from benzodiazepines/gaba agonists resulting in seizures/death. Foaming at the mouth and drooling is evidence of a seizure, moreso when it precludes sudden death. If all other variables were equal (no rabies from a dog bite etc) and she was not allergic to any food served (she would most likely have known or her parents would have mentioned it) I would bet all of the money I have that she had a seizure from gaba agonist withdrawals.

    Furthermore many other drugs prescribed for fibromyalgia can lead to seizures upon discontinuation, Pregabalin (an anti seizure medication) being one of them.


    The real issue is why the corrections officers were slow to respond to a life threatening emergency. Anyone knows that when you're on the floor foaming at the mouth, probably a seizure. Responding quickly to a seizure can be the determining factor between life and death. They treat all the same, as if they are guilty of heinous crimes. Some are innocent, but certainly nobody deserves to die for a few grams of pot or whatever. Reminds me of this article posted on DF not too long ago: "food allergies kill non-violent Marijuana offender in jail while his pleas for help fall on deaf ears..." However the article and video seem to have been removed, unless its a search engine thing. Here's a link: http://aattp.org/proof-marijuana-kills-food-allergies-kill-man-pleas-help-ignored-video/

    I kinda am not replying to you Godztear, just posting an alternate perspective so that this seemingly incidental insult to the injured won't stand alone as the predominant view or a representation of what is known about medicine discontinuation by DF members, because you actually started with this:

    Benzodiazepines, gaba agonists, anti-seizure meds, tramadol, anti-psychotics.... there are so many that would result in a seizure....

    Rabies does too. Its a "natural condition..." But what did you mean there? Natural condition? They're suggesting something caused by humans, discontinuing medication. That isn't a natural condition, it's caused by human meddling.

    "She may as well have drown in her own mucus, but clearly she was not foaming at the mouth due to her conditions"

    Clearly? Please explain why that is so clear, and support any of your assertations with sources that are fact-based, if you attempt to further your assertations. I look forward to a healthy conversation that leads to deeper understandings on both of our parts, and from anyone who wishes to shed light on this awful tragedy.

    Some prisons do it right. I saw a guy get taken off my block in a stretcher for having "chest pains" on New Years Eve. EMT took him straight to the ER, shot of morphine and all. Guy was a pedophile, in jail for molesting children. I would have waited too long to call the ambulance but thats not what c.o.'s do. They actually are there to keep the inmates safe as well as manage their confinement.
  9. whatstheproblem
    just another great example of fine police work in keeping two obvious demons of society that were about to terririze every state they came across and im sure were gonna leave death and mayhem in their wake off the streets. Damn, im sure America was much safer when they got arrested. Makes me sick. Great job worthless pigs in harassing the innocent and furthering your solid rep with the public.

    I would bet that every single person, inncoecent of not, gets some form of anxiety when they see a cop. Im talking about not only in your car but just out in public too. theirs some more increased level of self awareness that you get that you wouldn't have felt if they weren't around.

    I honestly think it would be better if there were no cops and more of a localized effort from the people to fight crime. Cops today just don't give a shit about human welfare. they are there to arrest you, get the numbers for the chief and city, and make themselves look good. ya ya i know there are a select few that do but not enough to make a difference when it come to pigs instigating tragedies like these.

    check out any of the interviews with pigs from the nypd who are and were involved in the stop and frisk shit. its all numbers. Quote from some upper pig; "i want to look down the street and see a fuckin ghost town." end quote. fuck the police.
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