Autopsy released months after inmate dies while in custody

Months after the mysterious death of a Flagler County inmate, the autopsy has been released.

Anthony Fennick, 23, died in February. When The News Station talked to his mother a few days later, she told us that her son had been calling from jail for days complaining that he felt sick.

"He goes, ‘I have a fever. I've been shivering and everything. He goes, ‘I don't know why,'" Erika Williams said in a February interview.

Fennick's family claims his pleas for help behind bars were ignored.  When the young father was finally taken to the hospital, he had a seizure, and he never recovered.

"He essentially developed a blood clot in a vein in his sinus cavity," said Albert Lechner of Morgan & Morgan, an attorney representing the family.

The autopsy states that before his death, Fennick complained about a spider bite on his neck and was prescribed an antibiotic.

According to the report, he may have had an allergic reaction to the drug, causing a wide range of symptoms in the following days, along with increased dehydration.

"The findings of dehydration and localized infection over the neck in combination with tobacco usage can lead to a hypercoagulable state," states the medical examiner.

"We know from that cause of death that in fact – it was preventable," Lechner said.

Lechner says they plan to sue the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and the jail's medical provider at the time: Armor Correctional Healthcare Services.

"Even just making sure he was hydrated would have likely prevented the problem," Lechner argued.

The sheriff's office says it still has an open investigation underway. They have since terminated their contract with Armor.

Armor sent the following statement to the News Station:

"Armor's medical providers acted quickly to get Mr. Fennick the care he needed while in their care. The autopsy confirmed that Mr. Fennick was treated for a soft-tissue infection. Unfortunately, he suffered an acute stroke. His autopsy report discloses that he died of natural causes and also urged the patient's immediate family members to be tested for prothrombotic genetic diseases. Armor would like to offer immediate family access to this testing."

Armor is referring to a part of the autopsy report where the medical examiner states she could not rule out a familial clotting disorder.

Lechner says the family has no history of blood clots.