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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Prison rules limit family's time with dying inmate

A Costa Mesa woman raced back to Bakersfield Tuesday to hold her dying, incarcerated brother's hand after she and her niece were kicked out of his hospital room Friday because they had used up their allotted visitation hours.

Howard Irving Vines, 59, was serving a 15-year sentence for rape at Valley State Prison when he was admitted to San Joaquin Community Hospital last week with what family members said was a failing liver.

The prison had called the inmate's sister, Cindy Brenneman, 57, of Costa Mesa, to notify her that Vines was brain dead, and she drove up from Orange County to say goodbye, she said. Brenneman also called Vines' 30-year-old daughter, Vanessa Barnett, who flew in from Nashville, Tenn.

The pair visited with Vines on Thursday and part of Friday. They had planned to stay by his side until the end after he was removed from life support about 4 p.m., but a prison guard told them they had used up their time for the day and had to leave.

They couldn't believe it.

"We didn't want him to die alone," said Barnett. "We weren't causing any problems. We were just sitting quietly by his bedside waiting for him to pass away, and they just booted us out like we were nothing."

Barnett and Brenneman were so distraught that they seriously considered asking that Vines be intubated again until they could assert their visitation rights. They tried desperately to appeal to hospital administrators and officials at the prison, but weren't able to reach anyone with the authority to override the guard's order…..Prison rules limit family's time with dying inmate - BakersfieldCalifornian.com


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Kudos to the SJGH MGU staff!

KNOW IT ALL said...

Don't confuse SJGH that we cover at DVI and the one the inmate was at San Joaquin Community Hospital that Kern Valley covers.

Anonymous said...

Know it all doesn't know much. North Kern covers not Kern Valley.

KNOW IT ALL said...

Well thank you for the correction.

Anonymous said...

Karma is a motherf@#ker!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow really such an educated moran that can fuck himself I say!! Yes karma is a bitch and family was blessed to have spent time with him. We were told that my husband was fine and getting prepared to return to the prison only to receive a call saying he took a turn for the worse and by the time we arrived he had already passed. They told my motherinlaw we couldn't visit him or speak to him at the hospital because we might be planning something illegal when he waS ON HIS DEATH BED!! Oh my and when I phoned to request his property why was it that they took so much time going through each and every piece of property he had? Was it because his living quarters consisted of a 21room mansion? No it was to toss any evidence he had in addressing his medical needs that were ignored, but that's ok they were pulled from the garbage and brought home by a friend that was released the following week, and all appeals were addressed by the federal government!!