• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 35s

Cellmate says jail staff failed to respond to sick prisoner

By Dave Detling 5:43 AM April 18, 2014

Woman dies after spending three days in jail

ANCHORAGE –

Rachelle Hamilton knew something was wrong when she first met her cellmate, Amanda Kernak.

“She was very thin, very ill,” Hamilton said. “She didn’t look healthy.”

Hamilton shared the 8-by-10-foot cell with the 24-year-old for roughly eight hours on April 8.

Hamilton said she was locked up in the holding cell because she missed a court-ordered anger management class.

“She was throwing up,” Hamilton said of her cellmate. ”Trying to drink water, throw up, drink water, throw up, shaking really bad.”

She claims Kernak received no medical attention during her entire lockup.

“The whole eight hours I was there nobody came by there, nobody asked if she needed help, nothing,” Hamilton said.

Kernak was jailed because she was found driving under the influence. Court documents reveal she had a blood alcohol content of .325 at the time of her arrest, four times the legal limit.

Investigators said she was transferred to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, where she was later found dead.

The Alaska Department of Corrections is looking into the death investigation.

As for claims that Kernak’s medical needs went unattended at the Anchorage jail, DOC spokeswoman Kaci Schroeder said that’s not true.

“She was not ignored,” Schroeder said. ”I can tell you she was attended to.”

DOC would not go into further detail regarding a court-ordered detox.

Schroeder said there is a protocol jail staff adhere to following a booking: There’s a health checkup, and if a person is overintoxicated, the inmate is taken to an area hospital to sober up. They then return to jail.

State officials couldn’t confirm if Kernak received care at a hospital, citing inmates’ privacy.

Hamilton admits neither she nor Kernak asked for help. Still, she doesn’t recall guards checking on her cellmate.

“All I know is that she was in bad shape,” Hamilton said. “It breaks my heart knowing she died.”

Kernak’s death is still under investigation.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Local Seahawks fans voice their support ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

    by on Jan 30, 23:11

    The Seattle Seahawks continue preparing for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Fans back in Anchorage are sending a loud message to their favorite team hoping the Seahawks win their second straight championship. Fans staged a rally early Friday night at Flat Top Pizza. It took place after they took part in another event at […]

  • Sports

    Former NFL player helps teens become successful, avoid trouble with the law

    by Dave Leval on Jan 30, 22:50

    Former defensive end Mao Tosi has tackled many people during his playing days in college and with the Arizona Cardinals. However, being home in Anchorage may provide his biggest obstacle. Tosi created AK Pride 10 years ago, a program in which he teams mentors with kids in a variety of programs ranging from arts to […]

  • News

    Alaska Regional Hospital announces plans for Mountain View clinic

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 30, 21:48

    The Anchorage Community Land Trust and Alaska Regional Hospital have signed an agreement to open a community health clinic in Mountain View to better serve residents in the area. The clinic would provide primary care services for residents in the Mountain View community, many of whom may not be getting the level of healthcare they […]

  • News

    Mayoral candidates address recent Anchorage violence

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 30, 20:34

    With the recent surge in violent crimes in Anchorage, some of the candidates in the upcoming mayoral race are speaking out against the actions of perpetrators and looking for ways to protect other residents. Candidate Andrew Halcro says the recent shootings in Anchorage need to be addressed with dedicated gang and drug task forces. “When […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Jan. 30

    by Carlos Faura on Jan 30, 19:23

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Lots of sunshine and mild temperatures as a ridge builds into the area. Because of such a stable atmosphere and because there is little wind, conditions are ripe for some fog to develop overnight into the morning hours. It should just be patchy in nature and be gone by […]

  • News

    Last man on the moon lands in Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jan 30, 17:40

    The last man to walk on the moon visited Anchorage on Friday, and spoke with students enrolled in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Capt. Eugene Cernan, 80, was the invited speaker to help celebrate the ANSEP’s 20th anniversary. He told […]

  • News

    APD releases traffic fatality stats for 2014

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 30, 17:06

    Anchorage saw an uptick in traffic fatalities last year compared to 2009-2013, according to data released by the Anchorage Police Department Friday. Twenty-three people died in traffic collisions in 2014, which includes all collision types involving vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Of those, alcohol or drugs were a factor in 15 of the cases. The department […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Jolly Good Fellow

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 30, 15:04

    With a mix of indie pop and rock, Jolly Good Fellow stopped by Daybreak Friday for a Mic Check in the Morning. Based in Anchorage, the band includes vocalist and guitarist Kyle Harrington, bassist Mapy Preskitt and drummer Brandon Echols. For more information on Jolly Good Fellow, check out their Facebook page. You can also listen […]