SBI will investigate inmate’s death in county jail

Published 2:32 pm Thursday, July 2, 2020

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Updated 2:55 p.m. with district attorney comments

Officials aren’t releasing any details about an inmate who died in the Pike County Jail on Wednesday pending a state investigation.

Sheriff Russell Thomas issued a statement confirming that a 24-year-old had died while in custody, but he declined to release any information about the man or his death.

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“The State Bureau of Investigations, Pike County Coroner, District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Forensic Sciences are conducting a death investigation of a 24-year-old male (who) took his own life at the Pike County Jail,” Thomas said via a statement.

“The Pike County Sheriff’s Office requested the investigation … there is no evidence of foul play involved.”

Thomas said no additional information would be released because the case is under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigations.

District Attorney Tom Anderson said the inmate had been moved to a cell by himself at the jail where “he apparently committed suicide by hanging himself.”

“Typical protocol is to request an independent investigation by ALEA (SBI) and have a subsequent grand jury presentment of their findings,” Anderson said, confirming that the SBI will conduct an investigation.

Officials at Troy Regional Medical Center also declined to comment on the details of a related incident that prompted a lockdown at the facility Wednesday evening.

“Troy Regional Medical Center did go on lockdown Wednesday evening, July 1. The appropriate plan of action for the situation was immediately implemented. The patients, staff, facility and perimeters were secure at all times,” Amy Minor, TRMC Chief Clinical Office said via a statement.