Family Seeks Answers in Inmate Death

It's been three weeks and a grieving mother is still waiting for answers why her son died.
MALVERN- It's been three weeks and a grieving mother is still waiting for answers why her son died.

Debra Porschia's 24-year-old son Kendrick collapsed on the basketball court while incarcerated at the Arkansas Department of Correction Ouachita River Unit in Malvern.

Debra Porschia says her son was in perfectly good health, wasn't taking any medication, and the Arkansas Department of Correction hasn't been able to give her an official cause of death.

"He was a likable person and easy to get along with. He was an out going person."

Porschia was about to be released from prison in June. His mother says she got a call her son died the morning of February 23rd. “I've been crying, I haven't slept, I'm trying to be strong."

Debra says Kendrick died playing basketball which doesn't make sense to her. "He was glad he was coming home. He wanted to see his grandma and was happy to see his brothers."

Debra says he wasn't sick and didn't have any medical issues. “Just tell me what happened to my baby."

She says the Department of Correction isn't providing any answers to her that make sense. “It might be fluid around the lungs, it might be a seizure, and it might be a heart attack. Now they say they don't know until they get the medical examiners report back."

Debra's been waiting weeks for answers. "It's not going to bring him back. I just want the truth, that's all."

She isn’t the only one. Nellie Rufus says her nephew, 31-year-old Roy Parham, died just days before Kendrick Porschia playing basketball at the Tucker Unit. “That's what's so unbelievable. When I heard about Porschia’s son, I was like, no. It can't be."

Both women believe there's more to the story. “It's time for someone to speak up not just for my child or for Roy, but for a lot of inmates. We deserve some answers."

The spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Correction says the cause of death for both inmates is pending the medical examiners report. No word when those reports will be complete.
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