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Warden says Lebanon County prison followed all protocols

Written by John Latimer, Lebanon Daily News | Apr 23, 2015 1:00 PM
Tori Herr 600x340.jpg

Victoria "Tori" Herr of Lebanon. The 18-year-old was hospitalized after collapsing at Lebanon County Correctional Facility four days after she was arrested for selling heroin. Pennsylvania State Police are investigating her death. (Submitted to LD News)

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the death of an 18-year-old woman who was hospitalized after collapsing at Lebanon County Correctional Facility four days after she was arrested for selling heroin.

Trooper David Boehm, public information officer for Troop L, which includes the Lickdale station, confirmed on Wednesday that an investigation is under way into the death of 18-year-old Victoria "Tori" Herr.

"An autopsy has been done, and the investigator is still awaiting toxicology reports, and he has more interviews to conduct at the prison," Boehm said.

Herr was placed in Lebanon County prison on March 27 after she was charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver. Lebanon police said they found 69 packets of heroin in the home she shared in the 100 block of North 12th Street with her boyfriend, 21-year-old Jesse Roldan.

See also: 

Police investigating 18-year-old's death

Lebanon police found the heroin with the assistance of a drug-sniffing police dog when they were assisting another law enforcement agency issuing a bench warrant against Roldan for a previous heroin charge. Roldan was also arrested on drug paraphernalia charges on March 27 and was placed in Lebanon County prison along with Herr. Bail was set at $50,000 each.

No official version of what happened at the prison has been released, but sources that include Herr's mother, Stephanie Moyer, and stepfather, Dean Moyer, say the 18-year-old was detoxing from a heroin addiction when she fell unconscious in the prison on the night of March 31. She received treatment from medical personnel at the prison before being taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, and she was then air-lifted hours later to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where she lingered in a coma before dying on April 5.

The only official report so far was submitted by Warden Robert Karnes at last week's meeting of the Lebanon County Prison Board. In it he states that on March 31 he "(R)esponded to the facility on this date at approximately 10:15 p.m. due to a medical emergency involving an inmate. Upon initial questioning of staff, all operational protocols appeared to be followed. The PA State Police were notified of this incident and responded as per procedure."

Because of the investigation and HIPPA regulations, Karnes said he could not comment further on the case. But he did answer general questions about the protocol for prisoners with medical conditions, including addiction.

Karnes explained that the protocol for any new inmate is to be put through a period of quarantine. It is not a medical quarantine such as would be used with a highly contagious individual being isolated, but a three- to seven-day process in which new inmates are housed in a block together, away from the general population, while they undergo physical, mental and medical evaluations to determine if they have contagious diseases like tuberculosis or other "hypersensitive medical conditions" that would require medical attention. A drug addiction would fall into that category, Karnes said.

If they are judged to have a serious medical condition, they are placed under observation, which includes checks every 30 minutes by the correctional officers and two to three medical checks daily by medical staff.


This article comes to us through a partnership between Lebanon Daily News and WITF. 

Published in Lebanon, News

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