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Inmate death under review in Shelby County

(MGN Online / Mitchell Haindfield / CC BY 2.0)
Published: May. 22, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT
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SHELBY CO., Ala. (WBRC) - On May 21, around 9:45 p.m. 52-year-old inmate Kathy Burcham was found in “obvious medical distress” by officers conducting regular cell checks in the medical unit. According to officers, deputies and medical staff immediately began providing emergency medical care and resuscitation efforts were made, but were unsuccessful.

Burcham was arrested on May 17, 2022 for two outstanding warrants, both for willful abuse of a child. She was being held at Shelby County Jail.

The cause of death is unknown at this time, according to Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, but the initial belief is that Burcham had a “medical emergency.” Sheriff John Samaniego has requested St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office conduct an independent review of the incident. An internal audit will also be conducted. Due to the investigation being ongoing, no further information has been made available, but we release all details as they are revealed to us.

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