Woman charged with murder after Tennessee inmate overdoses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A woman accused of smuggling drugs into a Tennessee Department of Correction facility is facing murder charges after the overdose death of an inmate.

Rachal Dollard was taken into custody by TDOC special agents and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department on a warrant from a sealed indictment in Hickman County.

In February 2022, Dollard was observed passing drugs to inmate Joshua Brown as the two exchanged a kiss during visitation at the Turney Center Industrial Complex, according to a release. Brown reportedly swallowed a balloon pellet containing half an ounce of methamphetamine and died later at a local hospital.

“This incident points to the real dangers of introducing contraband into prisons and the consequences that follow,” said David Imhof, Director of TDOC’s Office of Investigations and Conduct. “Our agency will pursue prosecution against any individual who threatens the safety and security of our staff, the men and women in our custody, and our facilities.”

Dollard is being held in the Hickman County jail on charges of second-degree murder and introduction of contraband into a penal facility. Brown was serving an 11-year sentence on drug-related charges and his sentence was set to expire in 2029.

The Department of Correction reported it employs a variety of tools to try to prevent the introduction of contraband into Tennessee prisons including pat searches of anyone entering a facility, vehicle and cell searches and drug detection dogs. Body scanners are also currently being placed in all facilities, according to TDOC.

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