Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

April 19, 2010

Inmate commits suicide

Another inmate tries it recently

AMERICUS — A young man took his own life Sunday night in the Sumter County Jail after having been arrested for noncompliance and loitering Saturday night in Plains.

Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith said the unresponsive man was discovered in a jail cell about 2:30 a.m. Monday.

According to a brief press release from the sheriff’s office, Sumter County Coroner Greg Hancock arrived and pronounced the inmate dead.

The man was identified by Danny Jackson, special agent in charge, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region III Americus office, as Juan Perez Jimenez, 24, of ABC Trailer Park, U.S. Highway U.S. Highway 280 East, Americus. The sheriff’s release said Jimenez was 25 and lived in Plains. Jackson said the body was sent to the State Crime Lab in Macon where it was determined that the cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation. He said the inmate had hung himself with a bed sheet some time after 11:50 p.m. Sunday when a bed check was conducted.

Chief Deputy Col. Eric Bryant was asked about surveillance protocol in the jail. He told the Americus Times-Recorder that detention officers are scheduled to do walk-throughs in each dormitory, “as often as needed,” but required for head count, lock-down and lights out. He said that the first sign of trouble was at lights out Sunday night and a “notation was made that something was not right.” He said a report was made to a supervisor and the shift rotated. It was at that time that Jimenez’s body was discovered.

The sheriff and his investigators were in Plains Monday afternoon where they were to make contact with Jiminez’s brother.

Bryant was asked about a recent incident involving a female inmate’s attempted suicide. He said a federal inmate, a woman, climbed over the railing from the second floor of the jail a couple of months ago, and leaned over backwards before letting go. She fell to the first floor of the dormitory and sustained two broken legs and injured vertebrae. He said the incident was caught on surveillance cameras. She was treated initially at a local hospital and then transferred elsewhere, he said.

Danny Jackson said Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) was also involved in the Jimenez death investigation.

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