The mother of a 27-year-old woman who died Friday in the Montgomery County Jail wants answers about what happened to her daughter.
Sasha N. Garvin was pronounced dead at 8:15 a.m. Friday, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. A cause and manner is not yet available, though a drug overdose is suspected.
There have been two deaths of Montgomery County Jail inmates this month. Stephen J. Roudebush, 31, Kettering, died May 18, a week after jail officials said he apparently hanged himself while his cellmate was at dinner.
“Somebody had just seen him minutes before,” Montgomery County Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Haines, who said Roudebush was booked in for a probation violation, burglary, felony theft and a warrant out of Warren County.
“They’re both a tragedy,” Haines said Monday. “One of them obviously reflects on mental health issues that are going on. …. The other is certainly appears at this point to be an opiate-related overdose.”
Garvin’s mother, Anne Johnson of Riverside, said her daughter was sentenced to 30 days for not appearing for court for a speeding ticket. Johnson said Garvin had spent 11 days in jail, had 19 to go and had been sober after battling drug addiction.
“I just saw her on Tuesday,” Johnson said. “She was all happy about getting out (after finishing her sentence). She hadn’t been doing drugs. She was ready to start her life over again. And the next thing I know, she’s dead.”
Johnson said she was told that two other women were in a cell with her daughter, and one other woman was also unconscious when jail staff did a morning check.
A 911 call from the jail at 330 W. Second St. obtained by this news organization indicated jail personnel called for medics.
“We’ve got an emergency here in the jail. I need a medic unit,” a male voice told a dispatcher. “We possibly are going to have two inmates, so if you want to send two.”
When asked by the dispatcher what the issue was, the man said, “It’s probably going to be an overdose, times two.”
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating Garvin’s death. An incident report shows three other women listed as involved, but does not provide any details.
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A 31-year-old woman who was arrested the day before Garvin died was booked on charges of possession of drugs. That woman has been booked into the Montgomery County Jail 14 times since 2004, according to online jail records.
“I thought that if she went to jail, that she would be safe there. I never in a million years thought that she would pass away from this in jail,” said Johnson, who wants charges to be filed if anyone smuggled in drugs that led to her daughter’s overdose. “I’m not going to let this slide. I will do whatever it takes to help find justice.”
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer has asked for funding for a body scanner to help stop contraband from the jail.
A statement from Montgomery County said the Board of Commissioners said in November 2016 that if Plummer couldn’t fund the scanner with commissary fund money that the board would fund it through the general fund: “Those funds are available, and we are awaiting further direction and information from the Sheriff’s Office.”
A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said the request for a body scanner is a work in progress and that the layout of the jail would need to be modified to accommodate a new body scanner.
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