District Court, Duchesne Department The Honorable Lyle R.
Anderson No. 171800359
D. Reyes and Karen A. Klucznik, Attorneys for Appellant
Stirba, Wendy Brown, and Matthew Strout, Attorneys for
Jill M. Pohlman authored this Opinion, in which Judges
Michele M. Christiansen Forster and Ryan M. Harris concurred.
A magistrate must bind over a defendant for trial if he or
she finds probable cause to believe that the defendant
committed the crime charged. The magistrate here declined to
bind Jana Clyde over for negligent homicide because he heard
"no direct evidence that it was a gross deviation"
from the standard of care for Clyde, a jailhouse nurse, not
to treat an inmate for dehydration. The State appeals, and we
Inmate's Medical Treatment
Clyde was a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at the Duchesne
County Jail. On a Sunday, a young woman (Inmate) was booked
into the jail on drug charges. By Thursday, she was dead.
Sunday. The booking report lists Inmate's weight
at 129 pounds. When Inmate was booked, she tested positive
for heroin and informed jail personnel on an intake form that
she had a history of drug abuse and was withdrawing from
drugs or alcohol. Inmate also noted on the intake form that
she was taking medication for high blood pressure. Clyde
generally had access to inmate intake forms.
Monday. Clyde saw Inmate to discuss her medication.
Inmate appeared to be "a little weak," and Inmate
said that she "hadn't been feeling good" and
"probably had the flu." Inmate also had "been
throwing up a little but wasn't real concerned about
that." Clyde approved Inmate's blood-pressure
medication and tested her blood pressure. Clyde concluded
that it was "a little elevated" but that Inmate had
not taken her pills yet. When Clyde asked Inmate about her
drug use, Inmate responded that she did not have "any
drugs in her system" and that it "had been several
days since she'd used anything." Clyde testified
that she thought, "Chick, you do some serious drugs and
I know you're lying to me."
Clyde then gave Inmate her medication with a sports drink and
arranged for Inmate to receive the blood-pressure medication
twice a day. She also told Inmate to let her know if she
wanted her blood pressure taken again and that she could fill
out a medical request form to see the jail's physician
assistant (PA) who visited on Thursdays.
Tuesday. A correctional officer at the jail (First
Officer) noticed that Inmate was getting "weaker."
First Officer told Clyde that Inmate was "not looking
good" and that she wanted to give her a sports drink
because "she kept throwing up." Clyde said that was
Later in the day, First Officer again informed Clyde that
Inmate was "not looking good" and was still
"throwing up a lot." Clyde said to have Inmate fill
out a medical request form for the PA's next visit.
Inmate filled out the medical request form, explaining that
she had been "puking for 4 days straight," had
"diarrhea," and could not "hold anything
down[,] not even water." Inmate insisted that she was
"not detoxing" and instead had a "stomach
bug." Once the form was filled out, First Officer
delivered it to Clyde. Clyde did not notify the PA.
First Officer also decided to move Inmate to a court-holding
cell "to be watched more closely." The holding cell contains a video camera
that First Officer believed would help with Inmate's
medical observation. The camera showed Inmate using "the
restroom several times" and vomiting a "brown
substance." And though there was a sports drink bottle
in the cell, First Officer stated that the camera did not
capture Inmate taking in "a ton of fluid."
Wednesday. Another correctional officer (Second
Officer) took medication to Inmate, but Inmate "said she
was too sick to get out of bed." Ordinarily, the
officers deliver medication at a "cuff port" so
that they do not have to enter the cell. But because Inmate
could not move, Second Officer "walked in there and gave
her [the] medication." Inmate "didn't look
normal," and it appeared that she had been vomiting.
Second Officer may have informed Clyde of Inmate's
condition. Clyde later gave a sports drink to Inmate through
the cuff port.
Thursday. The PA came to the jail for his weekly
visit. Clyde and the PA discussed Inmate and went to the
court-holding cell to see her. Once there, Inmate did not
respond to Clyde's voice or knocking on the door, and the
PA told ...