PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Last month 10 On Your Side shared the tearful story of a Hampton father who wanted to know why his 33-year-old daughter, who had a long history of substance abuse, died in a jail 200 miles from her home.
A report from the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke concluded that Kernet Hollow died from acute fentanyl toxicity in a case that is accidental.
In February, authorities in Amherst County reported Holloway died on Feb. 3 after she was found unresponsive in a jail cell.
10 On Your Side launched an investigation into the case after the president of the NAACP raised questions about the outsourcing of prisoners in Hampton.
Holloway was picked up on Nov. 26 of last year in Hampton for drug possession, but in December, according to jail authorities, she was transferred to the Amherst Adult Detention Center, which is approximately 200 miles from her home.
It wasn’t until after her death that 10 On Your Side learned the Hampton Correctional Facility, built in 1962, was closed last May because of poor conditions and that prisoners were being outsourced to places as far away as Amherst County.
Holloway’s body was returned to Hampton, and days before her funeral, her father tearfully told 10 On Your Side that the facts didn’t appear to add up. Her father Kermit Brice said shortly before her death, he received a phone call from Holloway from the Halifax County Jail.
Regina Mobley: When she was removed from the city of Hampton, were you told ahead of time that your daughter would be moving to another location?
Kermit Brice: No, no.
Regina Mobley: You told me earlier when your daughter died you felt her spirit?
Kermit Brice: When they told me my daughter died it was like something struck my body all at one time.
The medical examiner in Roanoke determined Kernet Holloway died from acute fentanyl toxicity in a case that was an accident.
In March, a spokesperson for the Hampton Sheriff’s Department told 10 On Your Side that
after the Hampton Correctional Facility was closed, the Sheriff’s Office partnered with other jurisdictions, including the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, Western Tidewater Regional Jail, Riverside Regional Jail and Blue Ridge Regional Jail authority.
Gaylene Kanoyton, president of the Hampton NAACP, issued a statement to 10 On Your Side after learning Holloway’s cause and manner of death.
“As a ward of the state, it is the legal duty of the Commonwealth to keep inmates safe, to include outside illegal substances. After attending Ms. Kernet Halloway’s funeral, it was clear that she never received the much-needed mental health treatment. She was shipped around the state, away from her family, with no one to advocate for her,” Kanoyton said.
WAVY-TV is awaiting a response from the Blue Ridge Regional Jail authority and the Hampton Sheriff’s Department.