NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – When Charles Duynes was sent to prison, he wasn’t given a death sentence. But, his mother says that’s exactly what he got.
“I know my son could have been taken care of. He could be alive today,” Sharon Dallas said in a December 2021 interview with 10 On Your Side.
Duynes, 38, died of gallstones in Sussex 1 State Prison on June 1, 2019.
“I could not comprehend the fact that someone from the prison called me and told me my son had passed,” Dallas said. “Had he been outside, it would have been treated. He would be alive today. But, he wasn’t outside. He was living in prison.”
Dallas filed a $15 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections, Armor Correctional Health Services, and several medical personnel in June 2021. 10 On Your Side’s investigative team learned that VDOC terminated its contract with Armor Correctional Health Services in December 2021.
The lawsuit alleged that despite abnormal lab results and worsening symptoms, Duynes didn’t get appropriate medical treatment. Instead, he was given over-the-counter medication.
10 On Your Side discovered that the lawsuit was settled for $375,000 in early April. As part of the settlement, VDOC, Armor Correctional Health Services, and the medical staff deny any negligence in Duynes’ care.
Dallas and her attorneys could not comment on the settlement, and a VDOC spokesperson did not provide comment to 10 On Your Side’s investigative team.
In the December 2021 interview, Dallas said she wanted to share her son’s story to prevent other families with loved ones in prison from facing a similar tragedy.
“I know somewhere along the line it’s going to help somebody else’s child that’s in there,” she said.