Local News

Sister: Durham inmate who allegedly committed suicide 'really loved life'

Posted March 26

— Family and friends of Uniece Fennell, who committed suicide inside a Durham jail cell, gathered Sunday to remember a young woman who was full of life.

Authorities said Fennell, 17, was found unresponsive in her cell at the Durham County Detention center at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Fennell was put in the facility on July 26, 2016 after she was arrested and charged with the murder of a 19-year-old Durham man. She was also indicted on Aug. 4, 2016 for discharging a weapon into an occupied residence and discharging a firearm with a pattern of street gang activity.

Fennell’s mother said she spoke with her daughter just hours before she was found dead in her cell and said her daughter was in good spirits. An attorney for the family is now calling for an investigation into the jail.

In the meantime, those who loved Fennell are trying to cope with her death.

“She loved life. She really loved life. Like, no matter what she went through, no matter what, anything, she loved life and she was very loving,” said Fennell’s sister, Tarshella Fountain.

An attorney for Fennell’s family said the family feels like more could have been done to prevent her death.

Fennell’s twin brother was shot and killed in November and relatives said the double loss is heart wrenching for their mother.


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  • Charles Williams Mar 27, 2017
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    And why is this important to us law-abiding citizens?

  • Jeff Freuler Mar 27, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    Yes it's all a conspiracy as I'm sure the jailers had something to do with this.

    She wanted to play in the big leagues well she got big league troubles and took the easy way out.

    I'm glad the taxpayers are lifted from keeping her fed and housed.

  • Linda Tally Mar 27, 2017
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    The "bottom line" Freuler is reaching for doesn't exist yet. Remorse might get a woman in her forties but one that is less than 18? Not likely. Hope the investigation is a VERY complete one. There's a not-kosher odor to this.

  • Anita Gibson Mar 26, 2017
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    The reality of what she did probably finally sunk in and she realized she was going to spend the rest of her life in prison. No family member ever wants to believe their loved one would kill themselves. It's a selfish act. I hope they don't cave and give them money.

  • Mary Meadows Mar 26, 2017
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    I agree Doug. The first thing I thought when I saw the headline is "Why is this in the paper again?" No new info - just another relative saying same thing.

  • Jeff Freuler Mar 26, 2017
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    View quoted thread