NC officials to pay $650K settlement in teen jail suicide

March 21, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Officials in North Carolina have agreed to avert a federal lawsuit by paying $650,000 to the mother of a 17-year-old murder suspect who hanged herself in a jail.

The settlement agreement is awaiting approval by a federal judge after being filed Wednesday. In addition to the payment to Julia Graves, its calls for several policy changes at the Durham County Detention Facility, including removing all known suicide hazards by the end of this year.

Seventeen-year-old Uniece Glenae Fennell died in March 2017 after hanging herself with a bedsheet.

Officials said at the time that detention staff had completed hourly checks of Fennell’s cell, and that she was not under suicide observation.