Mississippi County, MO — Somer Nunnally made a reckless decision to ingest multiple pills and then get behind the wheel of a car. She then wrecked the car and was arrested for DUI and brought to jail. While Nunnally certainly should've been held accountable in some fashion, these poor decisions were most assuredly not worthy of a death sentence. But, that's what she got.
Nunnally, a mother of two, was out with a friend one night in May of 2015 when she was involved in a single-car crash. When police showed up to the scene, Nunnally was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Police then brought Nunnally to the hospital after they found out she had taken the pills. However, they did not bring her there for help. According to a lawsuit recently filed on her behalf, Nunnally was only brought to the hospital for a blood test to gather evidence against her.
Once police took her blood as evidence, she was booked into the Mississippi County jail where she would die a slow and humiliating death — all as guards watched and laughed for their own amusement, according to the suit.
"This particular case, it really is a tragedy," attorney Sam Wendt tells the Riverfront Times."They had an awful lot of time to provide her with medical care."
As the Times reports, the complaint describes surveillance video of Nunnally's final hours inside the jail. The footage reportedly shows the young woman unable to sit up straight, slumping forward during the initial booking before staff locked her in a cell at 9:41 p.m. During the next seven-plus hours, jail staffers walk in and out of the cell or peer in on her, according to the suit.
For hours Nunnally drifts in and out of consciousness as the officers look on with seeming enjoyment.
The complaint says that Nunnally "makes no apparent movements after 2:18 a.m." In spite of her obvious distress, no officers call for help, check her vitals, or even go so far as to ask her if she is okay.
At 4:43 a.m., according to the lawsuit, surveillance camera footage shows one of the guards looks in on her and "starts laughing and jumps back at what he sees."
The cop was laughing at the fact that Nunnally had urinated on herself. He then called in the other officers to gawk at the young mother — as she died. Despite seeing that she'd urinated on herself, the officers did nothing.
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When the ambulance was finally called — after the officers fulfilled their sadistic desire for horrific entertainment — it was too late. The Times reports that County Coroner Terry Parker pronounced Nunnally dead at 5 a.m. Parker noted the cause of death from a "mixed-drug intoxication."
Nunnally's death was entirely preventable. However, because police chose to gawk and laugh at her as she died, instead of render aid, her children will now grow up without their mom.
The lawsuit will now seek to hold those officers responsible.
As the Times points out, the suit, brought by the father of Nunnally's two young children on the kids' behalf, bears troubling similarities to a previous suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. In that case, Hutcheson and his subordinates at the jail are accused of ignoring a pregnant inmate's desperate pleas for medical help. The woman suffered for five days in 2014 before Hutcheson finally sent her across Missouri to a state women's prison, the suit alleges. Her baby was stillborn.
The jail administrator, two Charleston cops, two jailers, the county, and sheriff Cory Hutcheson — who presided over the jail when Nunnally died — are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
As the Free Thought Project reported last month, Hutcheson is already in a world of hurt. On April 5, he was arrested following an investigation by the State Highway Patrol and the FBI. Attorney General Josh Hawley said the arrest of Hutcheson, who authorities say is guilty of multiple felonies, is the result of two separate investigations.
According to KVFS News, "In the first complaint, Hutcheson faces seven counts of forgery, seven counts of tampering with computer data, and one count of notary misconduct. Hawley said Hutcheson is accused of using his position to illegally ping the cell phone of several members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, former Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore, and Circuit Judge David Dolan."
But Hutcheson's crimes were not limited to spying on his colleagues. Apparently, the sheriff also used his position to bully other members of the community as retaliation for involving themselves with other members of his family.
KVFS writes, "In the second complaint, Hutcheson is charged with second-degree assault, first-degree robbery, and false declaration. Hutcheson is accused of handcuffing a 77-year-old woman with enough force that she had a heart attack. Hawley said that the victim was in the hospital for three days. Investigators said Hutcheson arrested the woman because she was in a civil dispute with one of his family members."
Hutcheson remains Sheriff of Mississippi County.