Uniece Fennel, 17

Durham, North Carolina
March 23, 2017

Agencies: State Bureau of Investigations SBI North Carolina | Durham County Sheriff's Office North Carolina

Cause of death: Not Yet Known

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Last updated: almost 4 years ago

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Uniece Glenae Fennell, 17, was found unresponsive inside her jail cell on March 23, 2017. Paramedics responded and pronounced her dead at the scene. Uniece Fennell had been charged and held on a murder case that she did not commit. During her time at the Durham facility she kept having issues with correctional officers verbally abusing her, her attorney filed a complaint regarding this matter just a day or days before her passing. The jail is saying she committed suicide which comes as a surprise to the family, we know she would never take her life. The markings and bruising remaining on her body show something different then a sheet being tied around her neck to kill herself. 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. Our family believes more happened that night and that the Sheriff's Department is going to try and cover this up. We are now waiting on the autopsy report for further information. Everyone we are still trying to raise money to transport Uniece's body from North Carolina to California... Please make a donation today every bit counts and is very appreciated.

Fennell’s death is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation, but the family would like to see the inquiry taken beyond the SBI. They’re also asking that the Durham County Sheriff be held accountable for Fennell’s death and for failing to fix what they called “the long-known problem of the risk of the bars in certain cells and all other unsafe conditions.”

About two dozen people gathered Friday morning to make these demands and remember Fennell. They carried signs reading “long live Niecey,” and “rest in peace Niecey,” her smiling face looking back from photos stuck to the poster boards. Some commemorated “the Fennell Twins”; Fennell’s twin brother, Demoraea, was shot and killed in November, while she was in jail.

Legal Action

It was reported on March 21, 2019 that the family of Uniece Fennel will receive a $650,000 settlement from the county, as long as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina approves the preliminary agreement.

Community and Family Efforts