Colbert County Jail Suicide

By  | March 5, 2012 | Filed under: News

Colbert County Jail

TUSCUMBIA – After witnessing so many difficult moments in his years of Law Enforcement, Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May never gets used to tragedies that happen in his jail. Saturday night, May was contacted by the dispatcher at the Sheriff’s Office that a jail prisoner had killed himself in his jail cell. The man, 42 year old Darwin Scott Terry, had evidently taken the laces from his shoes and hanged himself from the cell bars. Terry, of Town Creek, had been arrested earlier that night by Leighton Police, on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substances, and driving with a revoked driver’s license. The Colbert County Jail houses prisoners from many of the county’s smaller communities.

“He was booked in and was initially placed in a cell with another individual,” May recounted. “About 10 o’clock that individual made bond and got out. there was approximately a ten to fifteen minute time frame from the time the other person was released and when the jailers checked back in on Mr. Terry and found him hanging.” Sheriff May said that the jail personnel tried to resuscitate Terry until EMT’s arrived, who then took over. He was taken to Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, “About 10:30 I was notified that the hospital had called, and Mr. Terry was deceased.”

This is the second inmate death in The Shoals for the weekend.Lyndel Waldrep, 43, of Florence died at ECM Friday after Lauderdale County Detention Center Jailers found him, unresponsive, on his jail cell floor. Sheriff May reacted, “It is very rare (inmate deaths). The jailers will make rounds every ten to fifteen minutes, usually they’re with someone else.” He said of Terry’s death, ” There was no indication in the paperwork or the arresting officer that Mr. Terry was depressed or seemed suicidal, or needed to be placed on suicide watch. It’s rare, very rare.” Sheriff May told The Quad-Cities Daily that because the death took place in his jail, The Alabama Bureau of Investigation was handling the case. He said that an autopsy has been ordered to officially determine the cause of death, and also to determine if there was any alcohol or drugs in Terry’s system at the time of death. Additionally the ABI has talked to the Leighton police officer that brought him in, the jailers, and they are trying to locate Terry’s jail mate to ask him about Terry’s state of mind.

Sheriff may concluded, “I don’t know… and I never have been able to understand how far down someone has to get mentally to make that decision.”

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