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Exclusive: Cellmate of woman who died in jail speaks out

Published On: Aug 01 2014 04:30:19 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2014 10:01:27 PM CDT

Cell mate of woman who died in jail speaks out

LANCASTER, Pa. -

A Reading woman's death at the Berks County Jail sparked outrage and calls to change Pennsylvania's truancy laws.

Nicole Lord, the woman who shared a jail cell with Eileen Dinino, the woman who died 24 hours into a sentence over unpaid fines, spoke exclusively to 69 News on Friday.

"She was like it hurts, it hurts. I cannot breathe," said Nicole Lord.

Nicole Lord is describing the night she woke up to her cellmate, Eileen Dinino, 55, moaning in severe pain.

Dinino was saying she could not breathe and had severe pain from her foot all the way up to her heart.

She died about 12 hours later.

"I do not think she deserved to be there and I do not think she deserved to die like that either," said Lord.

Dinino was serving a 48-hour sentence for her childrens' truancy violations and her cellmate, Nicole Lord, for unpaid parking fines.

After Dinino complained to a CO and nurse that night, Lord says she was told to go back to sleep and they would send a psych doctor in the morning.

Well, Lord tells us that doctor never arrived and Dinino's condition continued to worsen. 

She did not eat breakfast or lunch. And around 1pm when the guards were doing a sweep, they called her name from the door and she was unresponsive.

"That was full neglect to me and I do not think it is right," said Lord.

We contacted the Berks County Jail for comment. We were told the warden is out and never received any calls back. 

Lord says she is speaking out because she wants justice for Dinino.

"It is not that we are bad people. Sometimes we are led the wrong way or stuff happens. But we do not need to be treated like we are not human beings," said Lord.

And Lord says she hopes this never happens again.

"I just hopes this makes our justice system better, maybe our prisons a little better," said Lord.

We are still awaiting the toxicology report and state police are conducting their own investigation.

County commissioner Christian Leinbach also tells us he contacted the president judge and asked that he look at it from the courts perspective as well.