A former Smith County Jail detention officer was sentenced to four years’ probation for using the jail clinic to have sex multiple times with an inmate last year.
Amanda Gayle Megrail, 26, of Lindale, entered a guilty plea Wednesday afternoon in the 241st District Court to a charge of violating the inmate’s civil rights.
Judge Jack Skeen Jr. sentenced Megrail to four years of deferred adjudication following her guilty plea.
Deferred adjudication is a form of probation allowing a person to keep the conviction off their criminal record. After a guilty plea, a judge can decide not to enter a finding of guilt, but place the person on deferred adjudication instead.
Through the plea, Megrail waived her right to a jury trial and her right to appeal.
Megrail turned herself in to authorities on Sept. 18, 2020, and was released the same day on a $50,000 bond, according to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and jail records. Prior to the investigation, Megrail was placed on administrative leave without pay. She was later fired.
Megrail told a detective she would meet the inmate after he would complain of chest pain and ask to go to the jail clinic.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Megrail said she and the inmate knew each other, but before the inmate came to the jail they had not had a relationship since high school. She told the investigator she and the inmate started speaking as friends.
The two of them spoke while Megrail was at work. As the relationship grew, Megrail said they started kissing and touching each other, the affidavit read.
Once he said he had “chest pains,” Megrail said she would take the inmate to the clinic. They would go to the first floor, where the clinic is, and then they would kiss and touch, the affidavit explained in greater detail.
Megrail said the incidents escalated into sex. She recalled at least three separate instances, according to the document.
The detective reviewed the clinic logs along with Megrail’s work schedule to show the inmate was taken to the clinic three times for chest pain in June and July 2020. Records show Megrail was working in the jail each time, the affidavit read.
At the time of Megrail’s arrest, Sheriff Larry Smith called her alleged actions “unconscionable.”
“We have always held our employees to a higher standard and will continue to do so. Conduct such as this will not be tolerated,” Smith said. “The rule of law applies to everyone.”