ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - At age 96, Amanda Stevenson is the oldest murder suspect in St. Johns County history. But the elderly woman who's accused of shooting and killing her 53-year-old nephew goes to sleep and wakes up in the county detention center just like any other male or female inmate.
Stevenson is being held without bail, awaiting mental evaluations in the death of John Rice. But until then she's being treated like any other inmate, said Chuck Mulligan, of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Stevenson is being housed with other females, but Mulligan said there are other, more specific categories that dictate where an inmate will he held inside a jail. In Stevenson's case, Mulligan said, some of the classifications include her age, medical history and nature of the alleged crime.
Mulligan said Stevenson is staying in an 8-feet by 9.5-feet cell by herself. She can watch TV and talk to nearby inmates.
"What I can tell you is that she is allowed in and out of her cell into a smaller cell block area," Mulligan said. "She is out generally on her own when she is out for different reasons."
"The other inmates I wouldn't suspect would be a threat to her," said Janet Johnson, a defense attorney who has experience in dealing with Johns County inmates. "If they find that other women are a threat to her -- women are already segregated -- I don't suspect that people are going to threaten a 96-year-old inmate. They'll probably, if anything, take her in and want to help her because she sort of is in a pathetic position, and I think that they don't want to victimize her in the jail."
"We can simply tell you this: There's several hundred people a day at the St. Johns County Jail," Mulligan said. "We attempt to, in every way possible, to take care of each and every one of them and accommodate any special needs that any of them have."
Stevenson has access to medical attention if she needs it. She would also be able to get any medicine or prescriptions that she needs, although her family said she doesn't take any medicine.
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