PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A grand jury has indicted a Chesterfield County woman who previously worked as a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officer at a Petersburg prison for allegedly not giving a sick inmate proper care shortly before he died.
The indictment alleges that on Jan. 10, 2021, BOP Senior Officer Specialist Yolanda Blackwell, 45, of Chester, was on duty at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Petersburg. The indictment continued to allege that Blackwell was aware that one particular inmate — a 47-year-old man identified as W.W. — had serious medical needs. However, Blackwell provide W.W. with the necessary medical care he needed.
W.W. died the same day.
If convicted on a civil rights charge, Blackwell faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Two other BOP officials were previously charged with civil rights offenses in connection to W.W.’s death in June. Lieutenant Shronda Covington and registered nurse Tonya Farley allegedly did not provide W.W. care despite knowing he was sick, and then allegedly lied to federal agents about the incident. Covington and Farley were both charged with a civil rights charge, a false report charge and a false statement charge.
Another BOP official, Lieutenant Michael Anderson, pleaded guilty for his role in W.W.’s death in July. According to court documents, a correctional officer told Anderson that W.W. was having an apparent medical emergency one day before his death, but Anderson failed to get medical attention for W.W.