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Probe Of Inmate’s Death Draws Questions

Associated Press - February 3, 2014 3:24 pm

The number of arrests in a central Kansas drug investigation is up to five in slightly more than a week.

The number of arrests in a central Kansas drug investigation is up to five in slightly more than a week.

A northwest Kansas police chief is defending his department’s investigation of a Missouri woman’s death at a county jail amid questions over the impartiality of the detective who handled it.

The Goodland Police Department last week gave the Sherman County attorney the results of its investigation into the Jan. 22 death of Brenda Sewell. The 58-year-old Kansas City woman died in custody after being arrested for having a small amount of marijuana.

Police Chief Clifton Couch said Monday he’s heard concerns about a possible conflict of interest given that the detective who investigated the death is married to the Sherman County undersheriff.

But Couch says local authorities were left with few options after the Kansas Bureau of Investigation refused to investigate the death.

City of Salina