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Inmate dies after falling ill at Birmingham work release center

A woman serving at the Birmingham Women’s Community Based Facility and Community Work Center died Monday after falling ill and being taken to a local hospital, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. 

Colony Nicole Wilson, 40, complained of feeling sick while at the Birmingham work release center and was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where she died at 10:24 a.m. Monday, according to the coroner’s office.

The circumstances surrounding the death are being investigated by the Alabama Department of Corrections’ Investigations and Intelligence Division, the release states.

Wilson had served more than 14 years of her 20-year sentence after being convicted in August 2005 of aggravated child abuse, according to court records and information from the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. 

It was unclear Tuesday whether Wilson was showing symptoms of COVID-19, or whether she had been tested for the virus. Attempts to reach an ADOC spokeswoman weren’t immediately successful Tuesday morning.

No other inmate at the Birmingham work release center had been tested for the virus as of Monday, according to ADOC, and no workers at the facility had self-reported receiving a positive test result for coronavirus. 

Wilson’s death is the fourth unexplained death of state inmates in recent weeks. ADOC has said the department continues to investigate those deaths. 

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Arthur Ahmed, 69, died May 6 while serving out his sentence for first-degree assault at the St. Clair prison, where a total of three inmates have tested positive for the virus and at least one has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

No foul play is suspected at this time, the department said, and Ahmed had not been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his death, though ADOC refused to say whether a test had been performed on Ahmed.

“While Ahmed’s exact cause of death is pending the results of a full autopsy, at the time of his passing inmate Ahmed was not exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, was not under quarantine following direct exposure to an inmate or staff member who previously had tested positive, and was not in medical isolation as a result of a positive COVID-19 test,” department spokesperson Samantha Rose said in a statement.

Richard Jason Reed, 35, of Etowah County died May 2 at the Bullock County prison, ADOC confirmed in a message to APR on May 4. 

“While Reed’s exact cause of death is pending the results of a full autopsy, at the time of his passing inmate Reed was not exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, was not under quarantine following direct exposure to an inmate or staff member who previously had tested positive, and was not in medical isolation as a result of a positive COVID-19 test,” ADOC spokeswoman Rose said in the message. 

Alvin Daniels, 68, died on April 25 at the Limestone prison and although no foul play is suspected, his exact cause of death is also pending an autopsy, Rose told APR on April 28.

Nine state inmates in seven facilities had tested positive for coronavirus as of Monday, and 19 prison workers at 12 facilities had self-reported that they had coronavirus, according to ADOC. At least one inmate has died from COVID-19.

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ADOC has tested 116 of the state’s approximately 22,000 inmates as of Monday.

Eddie Burkhalter
Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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