A Black family searching for answers after a young woman was pronounced dead at a hospital after being transported there from an Indiana jail has hired the legal team for Breonna Taylor’s family to aid in the quest.
“Our team has been given the privilege of seeking truth and justice for the family of Ta’Neasha Chappell,” Louisville attorney Sam Aguiar wrote on Facebook on Wednesday, July 21. “More to come ASAP.
Indiana State police are investigating after 23-year-old Chappell, of Louisville, Kentucky, who died after being transported from the Jackson County Jail to the Schneck Memorial Hospital on July 16.
Chappell was arrested on May 26 on charges of resisting arrest, escaping law enforcement causing bodily injury, and theft after reportedly shoplifting at an Edinburgh, Indiana, outlet mall and leading police on a high-speed chase that spanned three counties and at times reached speeds of 100 miles per hour before ending in a collision after 30 minutes. Authorities say more than $3,200 in stolen merchandise was found in Chappell’s car.
Chappell was being held on $4,007 bond. Her family says she seemed to be in good health when they spoke a day before her death, but said she was having issues with other inmates. Chappell’s mother Lavita McCain told WDRB she suggested her daughter ask the guards to move her to a different cell.
“She called numerous times — over and over saying that ‘they are going to kill me. Get me out of here,’” said McCain, who allegedly has not been able allowed to verify her daughter’s body. An autopsy has been performed, and investigators are awaiting the results.
“We don’t anticipate any further statements until investigators receive the autopsy and toxicology results, which typically takes several days or longer,” a state police spokesman said.
Chappell’s family told WHAS11 News that a detective informed them that she had died, but provided little information, saying only that she complained of feeling sick before an ambulance was called. Chappell had been vomiting and feverish on Thursday, then was pronounced dead at 6 p.m. on Friday before the family was informed at around 8:30 p.m.
“I believe they neglected her. They neglected her need, [and] protection. She spoke to me numerous times — phone calls, telling me they were going to kill her in there,” her sister Ronesha Murrell said, questioning why her sister wasn’t taken to a hospital sooner.
“How do you not seek medical attention right then and there?” she asked.
Chappell leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter. A GoFundMe started by the family to cover expenses has raised $4,000.
Louisville lawyer Lonita Baker and civil rights attorney Ben Crump are also a part of the team hired by Chappell’s family, Aguiar said. The trio secured a $12 million settlement for Breonna Taylor’s family from the city of Louisville last year following her March 2020 death.