A woman who shared a kiss with a prisoner during a visitation in Tennessee has been charged with murder after the inmate died shortly after their exchange.
Rachel Dollard was taken into custody over the weekend by special agents from the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department, the TDOC confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. She is accused of smuggling drugs into the Turney Center Industrial Complex.
Dollard is facing charges of second-degree murder and introduction of contraband into a penal facility and is currently being held in the Hickman County jail, the TDOC said.
The charges come after the death of Joshua Brown, who was serving an 11-year sentence on drug-related charges. His sentence was set to expire in 2029.
During a visitation in February, authorities allege Dollard passed drugs to Brown “as the two exchanged a kiss during visitation at the Turney Center Industrial Complex.” Dollard was allegedly hiding half an ounce of methamphetamine in her mouth and was able to pass it to Brown orally.
He swallowed the balloon pellet containing the drug but died later of an overdose at a local hospital.
Dollard was charged on a warrant from a sealed indictment in Hickman County.
“This incident points to the real dangers of introducing contraband into prisons and the consequences that follow,” said David Imhof, director of TDOC’s Office of Investigations and Conduct.
“Our agency will pursue prosecution against any individual who threatens the safety and security of our staff, the men and women in our custody, and our facilities.”
The Department of Correction stressed that it uses “a variety of tools to try to prevent the introduction of contraband into Tennessee prisons including pat searches of anyone entering a facility, vehicle and cell searches, and drug detection dogs.”
Body scanners are also being placed in all facilities.