Two-month investigation exonerates Montcalm County jail in inmate death

Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 16:26:10-04

STANTON, Mich. — An independent investigation has cleared employees at the Montcalm County Jail of wrongdoing in the death of an inmate in December.

Amber Bills, 34, was brought to the jail Dec. 22 and began experiencing stomach pain a few days later. Authorities said Bills told a nurse she had used methamphetamine and was experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Bills was moved to a cell that allowed for direct observation and placed on Librium, a drug commonly used to treat withdrawal symptoms. On Dec. 30, she was found unresponsive in her cell. Life-saving measures were attempted but were not successful.

After Bills’ death, the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Michigan Sheriff’s Association MISSION team to conduct an independent investigation.

On Friday, the results of the investigation were released.

“They performed their investigation and interviewed multiple people and completed that investigation,” said Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams. “They concluded that there was no violation of criminal law, and no violation of our policies.”

Williams said the sheriff’s office is going to review policies and see if anything can be improved on.

In January, an autopsy determined Bills had an perforated ulcer, which wasn’t discovered until the autopsy. The medical examiner’s final report determined Bills died of natural causes.

Bills was being held on contempt of court charges and for driving on a suspended license.