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Family seeks answers after finally receiving autopsy of incarcerated loved one

Eddie Richmond was only 20 years old when he was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at Fountain Correctional Facility.

Photos of Eddie Richmond, who was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at Fountain Correctional Facility. Contributed

A family is left with even more questions after finally receiving the autopsy of their loved one who died almost a year ago in prison from an apparent drug overdose.

Eddie Richmond was only 20 years old when he was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at Fountain Correctional Facility on December 15, 2022. Eddie had only been at the prison for six short months before his untimely passing.

According to his mother, Wisteria Richmond, prior to his passing Eddie just endured a drug overdose on November 25, that landed him in a hospital and with a tongue that was “almost bitten off”.

In an autopsy report finally released to Wisteria and her family early September, the mother came away with more questions than closure. According to the report, Eddie’s death was labeled an accident and the cause of death was toxicity from acute fentanyl, fluorofentanyl, and MDMB-4en-PINACA. 

Wisteria said she wanted to get this information out so more people can realize the drugs and dangerous substances that are being allowed into the facilities often by even the guards and correctional officers

“How is that possible,” Wisteria said. “How is he able to get his hands on all this stuff and how is he even getting a hold of this stuff.” 

After the first overdose Eddie realized he was battling an addiction and personally asked to be moved to a different dorm of the prison to make it harder for him to access drugs. However, the area he was moved to actually made it easier for him to access drugs despite Eddie’s own attempts to help himself.

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Wisteria is also concerned the autopsy has some inconsistencies based on the health of Eddie the day he died. As previously mentioned Eddie had a prior incident where he almost bit his tongue off about three weeks before his death. Wisteria said that Eddie had to have meals made for him and had to use straws because of the damage to his tongue.

However, according to the autopsy report dated December 16, there was no damage to Eddie’s tongue. Wisteria said “that was not true” and said Eddie called his family on December 14. Wisteria said she could hear that his tongue was still damaged due to his speech.

“He called us and even then his tongue was still messed up,” Wisteria stated.

There should also be a medical report of stitches Eddie was given according to Wisteria. APR has attempted to obtain this report as well. However, it is unclear the exact time table for how long it would take an individual’s tongue to heal given the severity Wisteria noted.

The mother also said she doesn’t want ADOC to think that her and her family will allow the department to sweep anything under the rug.

“I want them to know that we’re coming,” Wisteria said. “Yeah it’s taking some time but we just ain’t going for anything.”

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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