Nancy Evans sentenced to 9 months in HOC for role in death of inmate Terrill Thomas

Nancy Evans

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County judge sentenced Nancy Evans to nine months in the House of Correction for her role in the inmate death of Terrill Thomas.

Evans walked out of the courtroom on Friday -- a free woman. Minutes earlier, Judge Joseph Wall sentenced the former commander of the Milwaukee County Jail to serve jail time of her own.

Evans was convicted of felony misconduct in officer for lying to investigators about crucial evidence in the case of Terrill Thomas, an inmate who died of dehydration after water was cut off to his cell.

Terrill Thomas

"This is contrary to the most fundamental values of law enforcement -- which are honesty and integrity," said Kurt Benkley, assistant district attorney.

Nancy Evans

Evans' lawyer, Robert Webb, admitted his client lied to investigators. But he said she has already suffered enough.

"Nancy Evans did not receive a misdemeanor. She received a felony. Nancy Evans did not keep her job, she had to resign," Webb said.

Judge Wall made it clear that Evans did nothing to cause Thomas' death herself -- and he was heavily persuaded by eight letters submitted by her family, friends and professionals.

Judge Joseph Wall

"Background and character is really without blemish," the judge said.

In the end, Evans was sentenced to nine months in the House of Correction, the very same jail she once ran. However, the judge gave the HOC the option of housing her in an alternative facility if deemed appropriate. He also gave HOC the option of placing her on electronic monitoring. She has three weeks to report to jail.