County to pay $20,000 for inmate’s medical bill

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An unusually large medical expense for a Warren County prisoner awaiting trial on a murder charge has resulted in supervisors voting to pick up 60 percent of the tab with general fund dollars.

Four board members on Monday approved a $20,267.17 payment to Mississippi Public Entity Services as the county’s share of bills from River Region Medical Center and Vicksburg Radiology Associates for Alonzo Trevillion, one of five men charged in a 2007 shooting death that has resulted in life sentences for three stepbrothers Matthew Nash, Anthony Trevillion and Armond Trevillion.

Alonzo Trevillion, another brother, and Rufus Armstrong, 34, a cousin, also face charges in the killing and are scheduled to be tried before Circuit Judge M. James Chaney on Dec. 7, District Attorney Ricky Smith said Monday. The likelihood is high that arguments will begin later that week for at least one of them, he added.

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Documents approved by the board detailed two bills incurred by hospital and lab visits in October by Trevillion, now 37. A 40 percent discount was negotiated on a $33,358.61 bill from the hospital and a smaller one reached between Mississippi Public Entity Employee Benefit Trust on a $344.59 radiology bill, issued from the hospital’s billing entity for X-rays.

The MPEEBT is managed by MPE Services and provides health insurance to county employees. It also negotiates lower rates on medical bills on county prisoners. Without the deal with MPE, the county could have missed out on the discount.

Still, monthly contributions by Warren County employees to health insurance will go up this year following an increase in the county’s stop-loss threshold from $50,000 to $55,000. The county absorbed 22 major medical claims last fiscal year, up from nine in 2007-08.

Separate juries have convicted Trevillion’s three brothers on charges stemming from the June 17, 2007, shooting of Justin Maurice Harris outside a house on Grammar Street. Prosecutors alleged the men followed Harris home after a verbal altercation at a Washington Street nightclub. Nash was sentenced to life, plus 50 years added in March for weapons-related charges, while Anthony and Armond Trevillion received life plus 53 years for their involvement in the killing. Nineteen rounds from an AK-47 and a shotgun were fired at the house, according to testimony in the trials.

Supervisors also took under advisement four proposals for jail food services for Warren County Jail inmates.

An offer from Baton Rouge-based ABL Management Inc., the jail’s current provider, equaled $1.34 per meal per day — an increase of 12 cents since it won the first jail food contract in 2005 after years of funding inmate meals directly from the county budget.

Another offer was from Sioux Falls, S.D.-based CBM Food Services, at $1.23 per meal. Two others were opened — a $1.75 per meal offer from Arkansas-based Tiger Correctional Services and $1.89 per meal proposal from Jackson-based Valley Services.

Proposals instead of bids were done this year because of efforts to set the lowest price, Purchasing Agent Tonga Vinson said. Each proposal sought prices for a 3,000-calorie, “three hots” per day meal schedule, Vinson said.

District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale did not attend the meeting and was formally excused by other supervisors.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at