DUCHESNE Utah (News4Utah) – Charges against a Duchesne County jail nurse were dropped Thursday afternoon.
It came at the end of a preliminary hearing for Jana Clyde. She was facing charges for the death of 21-year-old Madison Jensen. She died while in custody at the Duchesne County jail in 2016.
Clyde was the nurse contracted by the jail. District Judge Lyle Anderson issued the ruling. He said the prosecution failed to provide evidence that Clyde’s care was out of the ordinary and that it caused her death.
Following the ruling, Clyde left the courtroom quickly.
“Good news,” said a man holding Clyde’s hand.
“Talk to my lawyer, thank you,” Clyde said.
During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, the prosecution showed a video recording of Jensen two days before she was found dead in her jail cell.
Her father watched it for the first time and noticed a difference in her daughter’s physical appearance.
“For me it was hard to watch,” said Jared Jensen. “I love my daughter. I wish it could be different. But how could the staff at the Duchesne County Jail not know there’s a major problem.”
During an interview with investigators Clyde claimed Jensen had flu-like symptoms and said there wasn’t a written policy on how to handle these types of cases.
“She said ‘I have the flu, I have the flu,’” Clyde told the investigator. “I honestly did not know how bad she was throwing up. To this day, I did not know.”
But in testimony from investigators and correction officers, Clyde was aware of Jensen’s condition.
“Everyone was saying around the jail, the corrections officers, that she was sick based on the positive tests when she was brought in,” said Jason Turnbow, a detective with the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office. “They all speculated that she was coming down from heroin.”
But in the end, Judge Anderson said the evidence presented did not show Clyde’s handling of the situation was out of the ordinary. He dismissed the charges.
“We’re extremely thrilled,” said Brad Schmidt, Clyde’s attorney. “We think the right thing happened today. Unfortunately like the judge said, this is an unfortunate situation. There’s no winners or losers today.”
As for the Jensen family, there was disappointment.
“We’re devastated to a point,” Jensen said. “It was our daughter and things didn’t go our way today.”
But he said there is discussion of an appeal. The prosecutor representing the Attorney General’s Office had no comment about an appeal.