Crime

Inmate found dead is the third suicide at a Coast jail this year, officials say

Fresno Bee Staff Photo

A Harrison County jail inmate has died after reportedly hanging himself, becoming the third inmate to die by suicide in two months at county jails on the Mississippi Coast.

Charles Cameron Webb III, 41, died Friday night, Sheriff Troy Peterson confirmed. He had been in custody five days, since Feb. 17.

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics had arrested Webb on charges of sale of heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin, the county jail docket shows. MBN also arrested him on a warrant to revoke his probation on a felony shoplifting conviction from a 2014 arrest.

“He was brave, and strong and a smart-ass jerk and I will miss him so much,” friend Amanda Lienhardt told the Sun Herald.

Two other recent inmate suicides occurred at the Jackson County jail in Pascagoula. They happened about a week apart, and both inmates had been in custody a little more than six weeks, jail dockets show.

Gene Danley Jr., 35, was found hanging by a sheet in his cell the night of Dec. 28. He, was being held pending transfer to prison on a probation violation. He’d been arrested on misdemeanor charges while on probation for aggravated assault, a charge involving his former live-in girlfriend.

Danley struggled with “demons of addiction,” and “had a family that loved him dearly and we all tried to help but addiction’s hold was stronger,” his aunt, Dina Sumrall Brosh, told the Sun Herald after his death.

Shaun Prive, 39, was found with a sheet around his neck Jan. 5, and died at a hospital early the next morning, according to Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.

Prive had been arrested Nov. 21, on a felony forgery charge on alleged offenses in Biloxi, and was wanted by Pascagoula police on misdemeanor charges of contempt of court. He was transferred from the Harrison County jail to the Jackson County jail on Dec. 20.

Ezell has said the jail does head counts three times a day, and he and his administrators were looking at procedures and would make changes if necessary.

“They do have to have certain amounts of privacy,” Ezell said.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office are doing independent investigations of all three deaths according to standard protocol, Peterson said. The findings of inmate deaths across the state are presented to a grand jury after investigations are completed.

Two inmates committed suicide within a little over a week at the Jackson County jail, the sheriff says. Jail officials are taking a look at procedures to see if any changes need to be made.

Robin Fitzgerald covers real-time news, such as crime, public safety and trending stories. In nearly 40 years as a journalist, her highest honors include investigative awards for covering the aftermath of the fatal beating of a Harrison County jail inmate in 2006 and related civil rights violations. She is a Troy University graduate.


  Comments