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News on the Death of Amy Cowling: Gregg County Jail Ignored her Seizures

Jan 4th, 2011 | Category: Gregg County, Jailhouse Stories, Women and Jails

Amy CowlingA preliminary report reveals shocking treatment of Amy; Robyn Claridy’s excellent story begins with these 2 chilling paragraphs:
A Gregg County inmate found unresponsive in a jail separation cell was discovered kneeling in a praying position beside her bed before
being removed and declared dead a short time later.
Amy Lynn Cowling, 33, of Gilmer was pronounced dead just after midnight Dec. 29. She was removed from the cell after hours of seizures
said to be symptoms of withdrawal from methadone, former jail Cpl. Kashena Davis said Monday.

Here is the entire story

Many of the Gregg County residents who comment after the story ask when the sheriff and the DA and those running the jail will be held accountable for this tragic death? We join in and also ask when there will be an investigation of the county jail physician, Dr. Browne.

This earlier story from Thursday Jan. 6t provides more background and describing jailers and problems with this jail: “Inmate Death Spurs Broader Jail Probe” by Robyn Claridy

5 East Texas jailers fired after inmate’s death
LONGVIEW, Texas — Five jailers at an East Texas jail where an inmate died last week have been fired and one accused of falsifying a jail log as officials continue investigating the death.
Tomeka Cross, 34, is charged with tampering with a government document. Cross was arrested and released Friday. A message left with Cross was not returned Monday.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards has also found the Gregg County Jail in noncompliance, effective last Thursday.
Gregg County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Claxton said in a statement that the cause of death has not been determined for Amy Lynn Cowling, a 33-year-old from Gilmer arrested on misdemeanor warrants on Christmas Eve. She was found unresponsive in her cell Wednesday and was later pronounced dead at a Longview hospital.
Claxton said that during the investigation, a sixth jailer resigned.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that Claxton said that his agency, the Texas Rangers, and the Gregg County District Attorney’s Office were investigating the jail and Cowling’s death.
Attorney Robert Davis, who represents Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano, told the Longview News-Journal that Cowling was denied prescribed medication because it was on the jail’s non-approved drug list. But, he said, she was prescribed substitute medications after a medical assessment showed she was disoriented and had symptoms of visual and auditory hallucinations, elevated blood pressure and nervousness.
Two years ago, several Gregg County jailers assisted in the escape of two men convicted of capital murder.
© 2011 The Associated Press

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10 years ago

I really do not understand why? they are not helping these people with drug problems – treating them like animals.
i go as often as i can to see my daughter – she is not a crimnal, she is a drug addict.
she did not know when she got into the drug world what it held for her but she could be educated now instead of making them day after day to lay around
if she doesnt get help she will be right back and there is the cost of her continual use
if only they could educate them and help them overcome the addiction –

10 years ago

I agree with you my daughter is 7 months pregnant and in jail she has been fighting this drug addition for years she has been doing great since the ending of last year but picked up a charge in October and when I took her to report her probation officer her officer came and told me she was going to jail….these girls need to be placed in a mandatory rehab she has stated to me that its very hard to fight and we were wishing the judge would just extend her probation with all letters provided to him regarding her complacation with her pregnancy and other medical issues as well as our church support but from my understanding he did not even take time to read them and sentenced her for two years. She was ready to change and be a mommy to her baby but as the judge stated she don’t deserve a baby… But you can bet I will fight for my daughter and unborn granddaughter. We need to fight for the system to provide help for these girls…

10 years ago

My daughter was Amy Cowling. I am praying for your daughters. I can only hope and pray that
Amy’s death will make a difference and stop this inhumane treatment. I am fighting for them all.
Every second of my life is centered on getting justice. I can only hope that “doing the right thing”
for another human being will prevail. To lose your child in a situation like that is horrifying, especially
when it could have been prevented. This is the first time I have spoken out. Maybe I shouldn’t be now.
But I need to scream for my child. Stay strong.

10 years ago

Thank you for being so couragous, i love you.

9 years ago

I agree. My daughter is in Gregg County jail and should be in a rehab. I have not idea how to mak this happen.
Jackie Elliott

10 years ago

If anyone else has gone thru this then you can imagine how our family feels, we miss our Amy everyday.
This kind of tragedy has to be stopped, it is our GOD given right to protect our family from this kind of coruption in our jails. The people we pay to work for our county has to take some kind of responsible of how we are treated. These are the same people that took an oath and it is written on the cars and badges (TO PROTECT AND SERVE) I ask everyone (not just the ones that this has happened to but everyone) to stand up and ask for better care and better treatment of anyone’s family member while in jail, because everbody is human and can get put in jail any time. Please get involved so this doesn’t happen to your family. And whether anyone cares or not, AMY did have a family.

10 years ago

Tomorrow will be the second Mother’s Day spent without my beautiful Mama. There hasn’t been a day yet that I didn’t think about her and the wonderful memories she left behind. She was a beautiful person with a good heart and the best of intentions. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve thanked her for the life she blessed me with as well as the unconditional love she had for me, my brother, and my sister. We miss you so much, Mom… I know if you were alive now, you’d be proud. With the love and support of each other… we’ve grown up alot. I just wish you were here to see…. I love you, and I know in my heart… I’ll see your beautiful face again oneday. ♥

10 years ago

What a beautiful tribute. Children don’t lie about their mother. There was good in this mom. A senseless death.

10 years ago

I understand how you feel my uncle died in 2003. same thing happended to him. only his body was badly beaten. Prayers sent your way of peace and comfort. I continue to pray for justice.

10 years ago

Speaking from a Jailer’s point of view. It is very difficult at times to get medical staff to respond appropriately to those with medical needs. In my carrer; I have had to cut down an inmate approximately 17 years of age when I found her hanging from the cell bars with a sheet. I knew that I had just completed my observation; therefore I began CPR , using my duress system I notified medical personnel, as I began CPR. The medical staff arrived; the young lady was nonresponsive. I could not figure out why I could not make her breathe! I later found out through the grapevine, the location of the sheet tied around her neck caused her neck to fracture when she jumped.
I still think of the situation constantly.
This same young lady had told me prior to her death; she called her dad, at which time he threatened to disown this young lady, because she was incarcerated; I tried to explain to her that her dad does love her, he was simply being emotional, maybe even surprised, not thinking clearly.
This young lady was incarcerated for some traffic tickets that she had not paid. The point being; the best thing anyone can do for an incarcerated person; make sure they know you care and have not forgotten the good things they have done and you will keep in contact; whether it be through visits or mail. So many of the inmates are lonely, thry begin to have penpals withing the facility and the penpals are really just using them for information. Where they live, work, frequent, if they have children, etc. The penpal later starts exploiting the families and such for money, etc. In jail; knowledge is very powerful. The penpal will tell the recipiant,they are incarcerated for a “minjor” incident, when they have really committed a serious crime; resulting in all of the recipients personal information about themseves and their loved ones being compromised. Just a bit of knowlege.

David Palmer
3 years ago


You can choose Texas Jail Project as your charitable organization for any Amazon Membership. No cost, just do it. I looked through a few organizations and being an ex-offender and addict; I thought this sounded like the best choice…

County jails are insane and I would have expected an animal shelter to provide better accommodations and care than I got there for 3 months. Jack Harwell – Waco, TX 2011