Pregnant Pauls Valley mother dies in jail


PAULS VALLEY, Okla. – A Pauls Valley family is forced to deal with tragedy after a 33-year-old mother dies from a medical condition while being held at the Garvin County jail.

The victim in this case is Jamie Lynn Russell.

Jamie also used the last name of Fisher.

Her death came just hours after she went to the hospital seeking help for severe abdominal pain.

“Jamie was seeking help; she was in extreme pain,” family friend Kemper Kimberlin said.

Hospital staff reported Jamie wouldn’t cooperate, in too much pain to even lie down, so employees asked a Pauls Valley police officer to assist.

Unfortunately, when police found two prescription pills that didn’t belong to Jamie, police took her to jail for drug possession.

That’s where Jamie sat for less than two hours before being found unresponsive.

“There is nothing my staff in the jail could’ve done differently,” Garvin County sheriff Larry Rhodes said.

Sheriff Rhodes points out the hospital staff authorized Jamie’s release to their custody.

“She had a medical release from the hospital stating that she was fit for incarceration,” Rhodes said.

The state medical examiner’s office confirms Jamie died from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, where an embryo implants outside the uterus.

“It’s very regrettable for the family,” Rhodes said. “My heart and prayers go out to them.”

Still, those who knew Jamie blame the hospital staff, not the sheriff, for neglecting to care for the 33-year-old pregnant mother.

“We want to see this come to light,” Kemper said. “Something’s wrong and needs to be fixed.”

The sheriff did call in the OSBI to investigate.

A spokesperson for that agency said their investigation is basically complete.

They did not find any criminal wrongdoing on the part of the jail staff.