CLAYTON — An inmate who died on Tuesday after spending eight days in the St. Louis County jail died from peritonitis caused by an ulcer that perforated his intestine, an autopsy found.
Hours before his death, the inmate had tried to seek medical care overnight in the jail, but a nurse refused to come to his cell and told him he would have to wait until morning, a source with knowledge of the case told the Post-Dispatch.
It was not clear whether Daniel Stout ever received medical attention before jailers loaded him in a transport van the next morning to be driven to a state prison an hour south.
Stout, 31, of south St. Louis County, had been held in the county jail after being arrested on a parole revocation. He spent eight days in the jail, from June 3 until his transfer Tuesday morning to the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, officials said.
He arrived at the prison about 9:35 a.m. in a St. Louis County vehicle. Stout told workers at the prison intake that he had not had a bowel movement in eight days, St. Francois County Coroner James “Jim” Coplin said in an interview.
Stout did not appear to be in pain and did not report pain, Coplin said his investigation found. “He may have been in discomfort, but nothing that was life-threatening.”
But Stout vomited up bits of coagulated blood known as coffee ground emesis and Coplin said the situation “went downhill.” The prison called 911 at 10:09 a.m. — 34 minutes after Stout’s arrival. Emergency crews arrived and performed CPR but could not revive him.
Coplin said he did not know what caused the ulcer. He said toxicology reports were expected to take weeks, “but we really don’t expect to find anything because he had been incarcerated for so long.”
The source said Stout had been given medication in the late afternoon on Monday for constipation and pain relief. But a nurse would not come to Stout’s cell late at night when guards called for one.
The county is already reeling from the deaths of inmates Larry “Jay” Reavis on Jan. 18, John M. Shy on Feb. 23 and Lamar Catchings on March 1. A theme running through all the cases was a lack of urgency in tending to very sick inmates.
Stout’s mother, Angela Nalcich, of south St. Louis County, said in a brief interview that it should have been clear to jailers that her son was in pain and they should have treated him for it.
“Obviously he was in pain,” she said. “Why would they put him in a van in pain? He had to be in severe pain. … If you had a ruptured ulcer, I would think you would not be able to walk.”
St. Louis County police Lt. Col. Troy Doyle, appointed in April by then-County Executive Steve Stenger to take over the jail operations, said he was investigating to determine whether justice services employees did anything wrong in the Stout case but could not comment yet on specific findings.
He said the investigation was just starting but he promised to be transparent with results.
The county has not released results from its internal investigations of the Reavis, Shy and Catchings deaths. A Post-Dispatch reporter requested those records on May 30 through the Missouri Sunshine Law but a response on June 3 written by the county’s lawyers said the records were confidential personnel and employee records.
The newspaper on Wednesday asked county officials to reconsider the denial in light of a confirmation-day promise by County Executive Sam Page to bring more transparency to county government.