Amy Cowling's family speaks out - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Amy Cowling's family speaks out

Vicki Bankhead, Amy Cowling's mother. Vicki Bankhead, Amy Cowling's mother.
Amy Cowling Amy Cowling

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

GILMER, TX (KLTV) – The family of a Gregg County inmate who died while in custody is speaking out for the first time.

Amy Cowling, 33, was eventually pronounced dead after Gregg County authorities found her unresponsive in her cell.

Vicki Bankhead buried her daughter a week ago.

"It's a nightmare, and she was 33. There's no reason for that to happen to her," says Bankhead.

Cowling's had multiple run-ins with Gregg County authorities before, but the family says that the Amy in a photo taken just days before her arrest was different, calling her a loving sweet daughter, beautiful, good mother, and wonderful sister.

Amy was pulled over for speeding on Christmas Eve and later arrested for an outstanding theft by check charge.

She'd spend about five days inside the Gregg County jail.

Vicki says during the days leading up to Amy's death that she called the jail several times in an attempt to get her daughter he medicine; medicine that was prescribed, medicine that Amy needed.

"There was no reason for Amy not to have help," says Bankhead.

One jailer, Tomeka Cross, has since been fired, arrested, and charged with falsifying Amy Cowling's observation log.

Several other jailers were terminated for violating other jail policies.

When asked about the firings, Vicki says, "I don't know them. I knew Amy."

Moments later, it was all too much.

"I'm about done. I can't… I'm just done here," Bankhead said before she walked out of the interview.

Amy;s Aunt, Lisa Taylor said "We just want to be here for her, and make sure it never happens. Nobody needs to go through this."

Now, the family waits for the investigation to end.

The official autopsy report is still pending.

Meanwhile, sources tell KLTV that an attorney has been hired on behalf of Amy Cowling's three children.

Related Stories:

Jailer arrested, others fired after Gregg County inmate death
2nd jailer arrested after death of Gregg Co. inmate
Authorities not ruling out more arrests in inmate death
Woman found dead in cell at Gregg County Jail
Gregg Co. jailers arrested for falsifying gov't documents

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