Former Anderson County jail nurse charged after inmate death

Billy Joe Brockman (source: Anderson County Sheriff's Office)
Billy Joe Brockman (source: Anderson County Sheriff's Office)

CLINTON (WATE) – A man who worked as a nurse for a health care company contracted by the Anderson County Detention Facility faces charges after the July 2014 death of an inmate.

Billy Joe Brockman, 49, is charged with filing a false report.

District Attorney General Dave Clark says Brockman was working as a nurse the night of July 4, 2014, when Christopher Sullivan was brought in by the Oak Ridge Police Department on charges of drug possession, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Although appearing impaired, Sullivan was able to walk, talk, write and successfully complete the booking process. He was placed in a holding cell where he appeared to lie down on a bench and go to sleep.

About three and a half hours later, a corrections officer tried to wake Sullivan and was unable to do so. Emergency medical crews were unable to revive Sullivan and he was pronounced dead. An autopsy indicated he died of a combination of alcohol and morphine intoxication.

After an investigation by multiple agencies, an Anderson County grand jury returned an indictment against Brockman alleging that he reported to investigators that he had measured and recorded Sullivan’s vital signs, when in fact, he had not.

Clark says Brockman was no longer employed with the contractor, Advanced Correctional Healthcare Incorporated, by the time the indictment was returned.

Brockman was arrested on Tuesday and released on $25,000 bond. Arraignment is scheduled for March 30.

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