Two Plead Guilty To Misconduct In Gynnya McMillen Case

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Gynnya McMillen

Two former employees of the juvenile detention center where Gynnya McMillen died in 2016 pleaded guilty Wednesday to official misconduct.

Victor Holt and Reginald Windham were each sentenced Wednesday in Hardin County District Court to pay a $200 fine, plus court costs. Judge John Simcoe did not assign any jail time, although the charge could have brought up to 90 days.

Holt and Windham were indicted last March on the misdemeanor charge after investigators determined that they and other Lincoln Village Regional Detention Center employees skipped bed checks and falsified logs. Gynnya, 16, was found unresponsive in her room at Lincoln Village on the morning of Jan. 11, 2016. An autopsy report said she died in her sleep from a rare heart condition known as sudden cardiac arrhythmia.

J. Clark Baird, a Louisville attorney representing Holt and Windham, declined to comment.

Gynnya’s family filed a civil suit against the state Department of Juvenile Justice and several employees, including Holt and Windham. The state closed Lincoln Village this summer based on a dwindling numbers of residents.

Although activists called for the facility’s closure after Gynnya’s death, she was not mentioned as a cause of the shutdown.

Chanelle Helm, a Black Lives Matter activist in Louisville, said she didn’t want to see Holt and Windham in jail — but she also thinks the outcome should’ve been more severe than a slap on the wrist.

“They watched Gynnya die and covered it up,” Helm said. “That’s unacceptable. We need justice for our black girls.”

Reporter Kate Howard can be reached at khoward@kycir.org or (502) 814.6546.