LEONARDTOWN, MD – An incarcerated individual at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center (SMCDRC) in Leonardtown, Maryland, died following a second emergency shortly after being medically discharged from a local hospital.

John Sherman Greenwell, 44, was initially transported to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital on Monday, September 11, 2023, where he was admitted and received treatment. He was medically discharged on Friday, September 15, and returned to the custody of the SMCDRC. Shortly after that, Greenwell experienced another medical emergency. He was evaluated by the onsite medical staff at the detention center and was again transported to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the circumstances surrounding Greenwell’s death under standard procedures for in-custody deaths. In a parallel administrative investigation, the Office of Professional Responsibilities examines whether Sheriff’s Office personnel adhered to the established policies and procedures before and immediately following Greenwell’s death.

The investigations aim to uncover the cause of death and determine if all protocols were followed by the law enforcement personnel involved. No further details have been released concerning the nature of Greenwell’s medical emergencies or the timeline of the events that led to his second hospitalization and subsequent death.

This incident brings attention to the healthcare protocols and procedures for incarcerated individuals. Incarcerated people are at a higher risk for medical emergencies due to various factors, including pre-existing conditions, mental health issues, and the overall stress of confinement. Moreover, the episode raises questions about the effectiveness of the initial medical evaluation and treatment that Greenwell received during his first hospital stay, as he was medically discharged only to experience another severe medical emergency shortly after his return to custody.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has not yet commented on whether they anticipate any changes in procedures or policies due to the ongoing investigations. However, the outcome of these investigations will likely impact how medical emergencies for incarcerated individuals are handled in the future, both in St. Mary’s County and potentially in other jurisdictions.

As these investigations are ongoing, further information is expected to be released to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the events leading up to and following Greenwell’s untimely death.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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