ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. -- Two employees of a juvenile detention center in Kentucky where a teenage girl died in January have been indicted for official misconduct, a prosecutor confirmed Friday.
A Hardin County grand jury charged Reginald Windham and Victor Holt with one count each of second-degree official misconduct as a result of a state police investigation into the death of 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen on Jan. 11. Officials announced Wednesday that medical examiners ruled that the teen died in her sleep as a result of a rare, previously undetected, genetic disorder that caused an irregular heartbeat.
Hardin County Attorney Jenny Oldham said the investigation found that the suspects failed to perform regular bed checks on the teen and allegedly falsified documents related to those checks.
Windham was fired Feb. 5 for failing to make required bed checks ever 15 minutes. Investigators with the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's Internal Investigations Branch concluded Windham falsified a report in which he said he had conducted all the checks. Windham referenced Holt in that report, which was obtained by 48 Hours' Crimesider.
"I conducted most of the 15 minute period checks on (McMillen)," Windham wrote in his report. "Youth appeared asleep throughout the night. I made my last check at 05:45 hour while Mr. Holt was on duty first shift supervisor. We both was in intake everything appeared normal (sic)."
The charges Windham and Holt face are Class B misdemeanors, which carry maximum jail sentences of 90 days, according to Oldham.
At a press conference announcing the medical examiner's findings on Wednesday, Internal Investigations director Barney Kinman said dozens of checks were missed the night of McMillen's death.
The investigation found that staff failed to provide adequate supervision, falsified documents and acted unprofessionally, Tilley said.
"Some of the misconduct smacks of outright indifference," Tilley said Wednesday. He described one instance captured on video in which an employee offered McMillen a sandwich. When she didn't reply, he allegedly closed the door to her cell and later ate the sandwich himself.
"The longest void of time when she was not checked was 1 hour and 53 minutes," Kinman said, adding that there were two other gaps of more than an hour.
Windham received notice of his firing the same night that former state Juvenile Justice Department commissioner Bob Hayter was terminated, according to personnel documents.
Officials said Wednesday that four other employees have been placed on special investigative leave, suspended or resigned, as a result of the internal investigation following McMillen's death.
The teenager passed away during the one night she spent at Lincoln Village, circumstances which led to vigils and widespread calls for answers related to her death. Donna Stewart, a state medical examiner's office pathologist, said Wednesday that the Mayo Clinic determined McMillen had Inherited Long QT Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that can cause cardiac arrhythmia, also known as an irregular heartbeat.
Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley said Wednesday that nearly 60 hours of video surveillance footage would be released to McMillen's family after the Kentucky State Police and Hardin County prosecutors completed their investigation. It is not clear if that video footage has been released yet.
McMillen was brought to the ground by staffers using an "aikido restraint" and held there for four minutes and 15 seconds as a pat down was conducted. Officials said the initial restraint was recorded, but McMillen was brought down behind a counter, which obscured the camera's view of her while she was on the ground. Employees could be seen on camera during that time, officials said.
Medical examiners determined the restraint did not factor in McMillen's death. She died about 17 hours later, according to an official timeline of her last day, released by officials Wednesday.
for more features.