Guard accused of ignoring inmate suicide threat enters plea, 6 months expected

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A former prison guard accused in the death of a Michigan inmate who killed herself in 2015 has entered a plea agreement.

The Ann Arbor News reports 49-year-old Dianna Callahan of Flint pleaded no contest Friday to involuntary manslaughter. Chief Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Steve Hiller says a willful neglect of duty charge will be dismissed.

Hiller says Callahan is expected to get a sentence of no more than six months in jail. The plea came ahead of Callahan's trial, which had been scheduled to begin Monday.

Authorities say Callahan failed to properly respond to a suicide threat made by Janika Edmond at a prison for women. Edmond yelled for a suicide-prevention vest but didn't get one. She killed herself in 2015.

Back in May 2017, Judge J. Cedric Simpson said Callahan might have left the immediate area before Edmond hanged herself but she likely heard the threat. Defense attorney William Hatchett says Callahan remains "devastated" by what happened. She was fired by the Corrections Department.

The update comes as the Michigan Department of Corrections seeks to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the representative for Edmond's estate.