Parents want answers in Anderson County inmate’s death

Chris Sullivan

CLINTON (WATE) – A Knox County mother wants to know what happened to her son at the Anderson County jail. Chris Sullivan, 34, was found dead there last July.

Earlier this month, a nurse was charged with filing a false report.

“As long as there was a breath in Chris’s body, I had hope for Chris, but now, there’s just no hope,” said Sherry Petrowski, of Farragut.

Sherry Petrowski
Sherry Petrowski

Petrowski has a lot of questions about her son’s death. Sullivan was booked into the Anderson County jail in July on charges of drug possession, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Previous story: Former Anderson County jail nurse charged after inmate death

According to an indictment, Billy Joe Brockman, who was a nurse at the jail, told investigators he measured and recorded Sullivan’s vital signs, but that never happened.

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

“This individual had the knowledge and the training and the opportunity to intervene that day and for whatever reason, didn’t,” said Petrowski.

Advanced Correctional Healthcare issued a statement to WATE 6 On Your Side saying: “ACH terminated Mr. Brockman after learning of the alleged misconduct. He was terminated prior to his indictment. ACH is cooperating fully with the investigation.”

Brockman was in court on Monday for an arraignment hearing in which he pleaded not guilty, according to Petrowski. An autopsy report shows Sullivan died from a combination of alcohol and morphine intoxication. Petrowski says she still hopes to learn more about what really happened.

Chris Sullivan died at the Anderson County Jail.
Chris Sullivan died at the Anderson County Jail.

“We just want the truth to come out. That’s all. And we’re willing to accept whatever that truth is,” said Petrowski.

Brockman’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment. His next court date, a pre-trial motion deadline, is set for June 8.

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