Two Prison Inmates Have Died As COVID-19 Continues To Spread At Blackwater In Milton

April 16, 2020

Two inmates at Milton’s Blackwater River Correctional Facility have died from COVID-19 as the virus continues to spread.

The first inmate, 69-year-old Jeffrey Sand, died April 9. The second, 84-year-old William B. Wilson, died April 12, according to published reports citing the Santa Rosa County medical examiner’s office. The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has not released any details or acknowledged the deaths.

Sand (pictured left) was serving a three year sentenced from St. Johns and Duval counties for aggravated assault and burglary. Wilson was serving life for sexual battery on a victim under 12 in a Clay County case.

As of Wednesday, there were 33 inmates and eight workers positive for COVID-19 at Blackwater. With no public clarification from FDC, it was not clear if the deceased inmates were included in the 33 counted as positive.

FDC announced Wednesday that 10 inmates at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach have COVID-19, with all of the cases diagnosed this week.

“Tomoka CI transitioned to providing all services including medical services and meals to inmates within their dormitories,” FDC said. “All symptomatic inmates are being tested for COVID-19. Additionally, elderly and immune-compromised inmates are given priority for testing.”

A Wednesday report from FDC showed 58 positive employees or staff members across the state and 42 total inmates, including those at Blackater. One employee or contract staff member at Century Correctional Institution is confirmed positive.


17 Responses to “Two Prison Inmates Have Died As COVID-19 Continues To Spread At Blackwater In Milton”

  1. Concerned on April 18th, 2020 10:26 am

    Has anyone thought about the inmates having visitors prior ti this lockdown? And its possible it cane from a visitor. You cry if you dont get visitation . The state is doing the best they with what they have. Its hard for free world people to make, how esy do think is to take care if thousands of inmates.

  2. Kenneth McDonald on April 17th, 2020 8:37 pm

    This has been going on in side this facility for at least a month and they did nothing about it..Ignored it because it was inmates!!!!!
    So it’s not over yet ,,,it’s only going to get worse. So you people better open your eyes because it’s a breading ground that’s going to be pouring out in to this community.

  3. David Huie Green on April 17th, 2020 4:58 pm

    “So few people have any idea how many men, especially, get caught up in this for profit endeavor of states.”

    Actually, keeping criminals alive in prison costs the state money. Those not wanting criminals in prison could discourage unlawful behavior in the first place, provide the accused with slicker lawyers to help them avoid convictions, offer to board those convicted themselves — as long as they didn’t endanger others in the process.
    (It’s possible.)

    One does wonder if private prisons were less cautious about getting infected and infecting others, but that’s a separate question.

    David for better people

  4. Martha Ubide on April 17th, 2020 8:24 am

    No inmate deserves to DIE from this virus. After all the inmates have contracted it from the Correctional officers and Prison employees. This is very sad young and old men and women will die from this virus.Seems like the state should of been on top of this Covid19. So concerned EVERY LIFE MATTERS PRAYING FRO THE STATE OF FLORIDA TO HELP ALL INMATES BE SAFE AND HELP STOP THE SPREAD!
    Praying for this serious situation in Jesus name amen.

  5. Karen Roberts on April 17th, 2020 7:17 am

    Three year sentence becomes a death sentence. Shaking my head.

  6. Jane Ballard on April 16th, 2020 7:54 pm

    So few people have any idea how many men, especially, get caught up in this for profit endeavor of states. FL has more lawyers than restaurants…it pays to be a lawyer because your family enjoys immunity…touch a person in FL, anywhere…and you can be charged with assault and incarcerated for life. You and your family will be huge supporters of the state, for your and their lives. It’s how they designed it…and they like how it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Sad on April 16th, 2020 4:47 pm

    This pandemic has surely shown the worst of us.

  8. David Huie Green on April 16th, 2020 2:09 pm

    “His “alleged” crime took place in 1981 and he was charged in 2002. Twenty one years later. The “alleged” victim was 11″

    alleged: accused but not yet proven or convicted

    Charges cease to be “alleged” upon conviction in a court of law.
    (It could be a false conviction, but is no longer just an allegation.)

    Yes, we might doubt charges first reported 21 years after the fact. The prosecutor was convinced and the jury was convinced and the judge was convinced. All of them were convinced despite their initial doubts.

    I don’t know anything about the case, but I’m not going to throw out the conviction without some proof other than my doubt.

    (All this is completely separate from his death which could have happened anywhere and by any cause otherwise.
    If he was falsely accused, it’s a shame living or dead.
    If he was rightly accused, it is a shame he wasn’t charged and convicted much sooner.)

    David for better people

  9. officerluke on April 16th, 2020 11:45 am

    @not concerned. There are different housing requirements within the prison based on custody levels. You are thinking of closed cell for high custody (high risk) inmates. Dorm inmates are in dorms with double bunks approximately 24 inches apart. These dorms may house up to 100+ inmates depending on the size of the dorm and facility location. There is no room to ‘walk’ around. Some inmates are exactly where they need to be. Others will do their time and get out and contribute to society.

  10. Kim on April 16th, 2020 11:39 am

    Since they came from other counties I would like to know when they got transferred here?

  11. Good grief on April 16th, 2020 10:43 am

    @ Nicole. Some consequences are severe and they kind of did ask for it when they committed their crimes. Prison isn’t suppose to be comfy and cozy. That’s why it’s prison.

  12. For thought on April 16th, 2020 10:25 am

    @Chris….yes perspective is everything. But let’s look at all the perspectives. His “alleged” crime took place in 1981 and he was charged in 2002. Twenty one years later. The “alleged” victim was 11 which would make the victim 32 when they filed charges. So yes… it’s sad anytime a child is molested or abused but there is always more than one perspective.

  13. Chris on April 16th, 2020 8:49 am

    @pops: So sad a person under 12 years of age was sexually assaulted. Perspective is everything.

  14. Not concerned on April 16th, 2020 8:03 am

    Why isn’t every inmate at every jail and prison confined to their cell 24×7. They can get fed in their cell too. If the rest of us are on house lockdown, then they should also be on house lockdown. Their house is their cell.

  15. Nicole on April 16th, 2020 8:02 am

    Theses are still people no matter what. I bet they got over looked and not taken properly cared for! Also to the people who say you do the crime you do the time. They didn’t ask to have no proper care and to die in there!!!

  16. Jim on April 16th, 2020 6:55 am

    “All symptomatic inmates are being tested for COVID-19.”

    Meanwhile the asymptomatic inmates are walking around freely, spreading the virus as they go.

    Why isn’t every inmate tested?

  17. Pop on April 16th, 2020 5:39 am

    So sad to be 84 yrs and die in prison, but if you dontge crime pay the time, whatever it takes!

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.