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Former Jefferson County jail inmate says he saw cell mate die

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- A former Jefferson County Jail inmate, who says he saw Terry Edwards die in his cell, spoke exclusively with Fox 2's Anthony Kiekow Tuesday.

Edwards was found dead in his cell the day after Thanksgiving.

"He had been having stomach pains, and he was leaned over holding his belly," the inmate, who did not want to be identified, said.

He went on to say that Edwards asked jail authorities for help.

“Like six or seven times,” he said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said there is always medical staff on duty or on call. However, officials would not reveal if Edwards was treated by that staff or if that staff was on duty during the time Edwards was held in the jail.

It was over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The preliminary cause of death is a ruptured ulcer, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

“He was in pain,” the former inmate said. “The next thing I know he was dead.”

Edwards was originally arrested by St. Louis County Police. They say he resisted arrest and officers used “minor force” to take him into custody. He had warrants out of Jefferson County and had drug paraphernalia, according to St. Louis County Police.

He was taken to an area hospital.

St. Louis County Police said a doctor declared him “fit to be confined.”

Edwards was transferred to the Jefferson County jail the day before Thanksgiving.

“I was the last person to see that man alive,” the inmate said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the death.

It could take weeks for the medical examiner to complete an autopsy.


  • jack frost

    there was medical on staff during the holidays , it’s manditory , this guy suffered greatly from a ruptured ulcer
    what killed him was a lack of attention by the jail staff , people cry wolf in jail all the time and that’s probably why he was ignored of his pleas for help , sad story ….

      • what a joke

        You are incorrect in your statement. It is mandated under the 8th amendment that officials provide prisoners with adequate medical care – not that there always be a medical professional on duty. Do you honestly think that every podunk county jail has a nurse or doctor in the facility 24/7?
        I worked there for quite awhile, your argument is flawed.

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    Oh, my! Drug paraphanalia? He “resisted arrest” in a “minor” way? Then he’s ripe for TOUGH POLICE ACTION! If he was violent, or armed, or was any kind of real threat to police, they’d be running the other ways like cowards, but this guy was probably just one of those trivial drug users doing nothing particularly bad or hurting anybody but was acting smartmouth to the smartmouth cops and that’s a SURE way to get hurt by the BIG MEN of today’s police state. I hope the family sues the daylights out of the department and the useless pig who punched him.

  • former co

    ha! there is no medical staff on duty during the holidays, Never! Medical staff on call, yes you have a corrections officer who is not even trained in first aid call a doctor and when you reach him calls back and has and has you give inmate tums or tylenol. Ive seen it many times there. Call doctor for chest pains give him a tums and tylenol and see nurse in the morning. Abdominal pain, he would have got tums.

  • what a joke

    To say that there is always medical staff on duty or on call – is an absolute and total lie. The CO’s at the Hillsboro Hilton are not at all concerned with the well being of the inmates-all of them are guilty until proven innocent.
    I’m sorry this man had to die in such a way and hope his family gets justice from the county.

  • elly winchester

    i work at a jail and we ALWAYS have at the least 4 nurses on shift 24 hrs a day 365 days a year. But, the doctor DOES not work weekends or holidays. should this change yes. but will it I honestly doubt it. Im a corrections officer and I personally find the whole “fit for confinment” thing to be a bunch of bs. alot of people brought in are not in good enough health. and our nurse always complain about the police officers just dumping arrestees on the jail.

  • Fishy

    Shouldn’t the Highway Patrol be doing the investigation? How can a department conduct their own investigation in a wrongful death, committed by their own staff, and not be biased in that investigation?

  • annoymus

    i physician who released him should be sued and never be able to practice again…..and the people at the jail should be held accountable too…..just because someone is carted to jail doesn’t or shouldn’t be cau to let them die….

  • BigBaby Sweets

    having been in this jail i have seen first hand how inmates are treated. there was an elderly man complaining of chest pains and just didnt look right, he was told that they didnt care and he might as well make his peace with god. very sad the way places like these are ran and inmates are treated. mine was a no registration warrant that i had already taken care of and the court clerk forgot to process, i had in my possession that i had been to the court date and that all was taken care of. i spent two weeks there while they “figured it out”

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