Family of slain inmate speaks out- QHN

ANDALUSIA, Ala. (WSFA) – A family is outraged after an inmate died inside the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County.

The Alabama Department of Corrections reported that Denarieya Smith was serving a life sentence for attempted murder out of Covington County when he was beaten and stabbed by another inmate on Oct. 1.

Hazel Bryant, president of the Covington County NAACP Chapter, described Smith’s death as unjustified.

“The fact that (he) could get murdered, supposedly in the safe keep of the government, just as outrageous,” Bryant said.

Smith’s family attorney Joel Caldwell said in a press conference Friday morning they were notified of his death via text message from a fellow inmate.

“Guards failed to arrive and respond in a timely manner, despite numerous attempts by inmates shouting for help, while DL (Denariyea) bled on the floor,” Caldwell said.

The family says Smith indicated there were problems inside the prison the last time they contacted him.

“His calls for help fell on deaf ears,” said Caldwell. “There are far too many unanswered questions at this point.”

The attorney mentioned Smith’s marks 32 deaths at Donaldson for the year of 2022, calling it “deeply disturbing.”

Bryant added the government should take a closer look at the prison system to make sure inmates are being treated humanely.

Caldwell and other attorneys at Birmingham-based Corey Watson Attorneys are reviewing the caselaw on inmate-to-inmate violence to determine if the state or federal courts will hear the case.

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