Uniece Fennell: 16-year-old found dead in Durham jail cell
Mystery continues to surround the death of a 17-year-old girl in a Durham, North Carolina jail cell.
Not a lot is known about the case, except the fact that on July 10 a drive-by shooting claimed the life of a teenager in the 2000 block of Woodview Drive, according to Durham police. Nineteen-year-old Andre Bond was pronounced dead at the scene.
Arrested in the murder were 16-year-old Uniece Fennell and 21-year-old Joseph Kendell Jr. Demonte Christopher, 18, was also charged in the slaying but is a fugitive.
Uniece's family believes that Christopher may have had something to do with Uniece's death, but there are far more questions than answers in the case.
Inexplicably, Uniece was found unresponsive in her cell around 3:30 a.m. on March 23, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities said that she hanged herself with a bed sheet, but the family believes otherwise.
“She has what appears to be a broken nose, black eye and bruising everywhere on both sides of her body. Not consistent with the way they said she killed her self,” the fundraising page for Uniece's family says. “Our family believes more happened that night and that the sheriff's department is going to try and cover this up.”
Another woman who was locked up in the detention center with Uniece said that the teen showed no signs of bring distraught or wanting to end her life.
The death has shocked Uniece's family, who have gotten few answers in the weeks after her death.
Alex Charns, an attorney for the teen's family, released this
The family of Uniece Fennell is heartbroken today. Her family knew she was innocent of the charges against her. They knew that she should not be in jail. She loved her family, and they loved her. She had an amazing smile.
They believed that she and they had been threatened with murder by her co-defendant who is still on the run. The prosecutor referred to him as “Monster”.
Niecey’s twin brother, Demoraea Fennell, was shot to death while Niecey was in custody. She couldn’t attend his memorial services. Niecey’s family, in their grief, want to know why the jail did not help and protect Niecey. What role did jail conditions and the conduct by detention officer(s) play in her death? They want to know what role the assistant district attorney on her case played in keeping her bond so high. My heart and prayers are with my client, and her family.”
The family is calling for an independent investigation into Uniece's death.