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Louisville Jail Records 15 Detainee Deaths, 16 Employees Fired

On September 26, 2023, Louisville Metro Corrections Department (LMCD) suspended guard Terry Henderson after he crashed his car into a vehicle driven by fellow guard Andrew Young. Responding Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers reportedly suspected Henderson was drunk, but no charges were filed. Young was treated at a hospital and released. But that wasn’t the only guard misconduct to embarrass the jail.

The day before, on September 25, 2023, former guard Yasmany Leyva was charged with felony shoplifting, after he was identified by a fellow guard in surveillance photos of a suspect at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Ironically, before Leyva was fired from LMCD in 2022, he worked off-­duty as a security guard at a Kroger grocery store and made at least 20 shoplifting arrests between 2018 and 2020. He was one of 16 jail employees fired for misconduct between November 2021 and July 2023—a period when the jail also recorded 15 detainee deaths.

“A lot of folks that didn’t need to be here were being … let go,” said LMCD Director Jerry Collins.

Leyva’s firing followed kidnapping charges filed against him in nearby Indiana, where he set up a vigilante sting to recover a Mercedes Benz stolen by a potential buyer who took it for a test drive and never returned. Luring the man to Indiana, Leyva took him hostage and held him at gunpoint for the drive back to Kentucky. There he summoned LMPD officers, misleading them about the trip across the state line. Charges against him were dropped, however, when the victim stopped cooperating.

Most of the employee separations were for less dramatic crimes. As PLN reported, guard Cynthia Kosman, 29, was arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs into the lockup in April 2023, while Marissa Brown, a contract food services employee also known as Carlotta Phillips, was arrested on similar charges in May 2022. [See: PLN, June 2023, p.63; and July 2022, p.63.]

In February 2023, Collins fired guard Ramon Skaggs, after fellow guards and a jail nurse complained that he indulged an admitted fetish by running his fingers through their hair. The unnamed nurse told investigators, “I thought I was going to have a panic attack and die right there, because I didn’t know what his intentions were.”

Guard Daniel Wells resigned in June 2023, after the FBI “returned” a case to LMCD involving accusations that he struck an unnamed detainee in 2021 and “made little effort to temper the amount of force.”

Henderson, the most recently suspended guard, was hired by LMCD in 2021 despite two prior DUI convictions. The first, for a single-­car smash-­up in March 2019, cost him his previous job as a LMPD cop. The second, just months later in June 2019, resulted in a six-­month suspension of his driver’s license and a 30-­day jail term, with 15 days credit for time served after his arrest. Henderson was also the subject of an incident report filed in August 2022 after he punched a woman detainee five times, a use of force LMCD investigators wrote “was completely unnecessary and avoidable.” Additionally, LMCD is investigating a complaint filed by Young after the crash.  


Sources: Louisville Courier-­Journal, WDRB

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