January 18, 2022

Jail audio depicts Chappell pleading for help for hours before her death

Ta’Neasha Chappell - Courtesy of Roneasha Murrell

Ta’Neasha Chappell

Courtesy of Roneasha Murrell

Patrick Beane

Audio obtained by WTIU tells a story of Ta’Neasha Chappell repeatedly pleading for help in the overnight hours of July 15-16 at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown.

The first of the 16 audio clips is timestamped at 8:34 p.m. On it, Chappell calls in through an intercom system saying that she had thrown up blood for the second time that day.

Less than 24 hours later, Chappell died in custody of the sheriff’s office at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.

No charges were filed in Chappell’s death after an investigation by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office and the Indiana State Police.

Chappell’s family and attorney dispute the findings by the prosecutor and have filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and members of the staff.

Read More: Chappell's sister vows to keep fighting after Jackson County prosecutor's report released

Chappell’s sister, Ronesha Murrell, confirmed it was her sister’s voice on the audio clips.

Three hours after the first call, Chappell’s cellmate calls in on the intercom system saying Chappell is again throwing up and to let her out of the cell.

The next time you hear Chappell’s voice, at 12:34 a.m., she is in more distress than during the first call.

“I need one of the guards to come back here, please,” Chappell says. After the guard asks what’s going on, Chappell says, “It’s the same thing … I keep throwing up.”

An hour later, Chappell calls in again pleading for help. Asked what she needs help with, Chappell says, “my stomach” three times. She then asks to go to the hospital for the first time.

At 2:55 a.m., Chappell calls again asking to go to the hospital and reporting she’s throwing up blood. 

At 3:03 a.m., Chappell says faintly, “I’m cold … so cold.”

Less than 10 minutes later, she asks to go to the hospital again. The guard on duty asks if it’s just her stomach that’s hurting.

“No, I’m dehydrated. My whole bucket is full of vomit,” Chappell said. “I’m throwing up blood.”

At 3:12 a.m., Chappell is told a nurse will see her in the morning.

Five hours later, an inmate calls in requesting help for Chappell: “She wanted me to ask you guys, because she can’t get up.”

At 9:20 a.m., she calls in to says she’s throwing up in her sleep.

Thirty-five minutes later, Chappell pleads for help seven times during a one-minute clip with no response.

A fellow inmate calls in at 10:48 a.m. asking jailers to do something about Chappell, who is lying naked in her cell. Twenty minutes later, an inmate again calls in for help, but is told, “If she needs something, she’ll have to hit the button.”

In the final two clips, at 11:41 a.m. and 12:17 p.m., Chappell repeatedly pleads for help through audible moans.

“I need help, can you help me, please,” she says.

Shortly before 1 p.m., Chappell was moved into a private holding cell, and at 3:15 p.m., an ambulance was called. She arrived at Schneck Medical Center around 4 p.m., and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:45 p.m.

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