Inmate Commits Suicide At Chatham County Jail


For the second time in a month the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office is dealing with the death of an inmate.

It happened just hours after the man was booked into the Chatham County Jail.

The investigation about a suicide in the jail this morning is in full swing.

That limited what the Sheriff was able to say at a news conference.

What we do know, is the inmate’s name was Guy Howard Leonard.

He was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct at 2am Friday. His body was discovered by another inmate hanging in the jail just four hours later, at 6:40am.

Leonard is from Huntington Beach, California, was 60 years old, and has no previous arrests here in Chatham County.

The GBI and Coroner’s office are now looking into Leonard’s death.

“With the new health care provider, mental health screening are supposed to take place. Was this person and are all the inmates still going through those screenings that they are supposed to be to make sure they are healthy?”
“Yes,” said Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher. They are all being screened when they came in, this one wasn’t a mental health patient.”

Leonard is the second inmate to die in the Chatham County Jail this month.

Tony White passed away of what the Sheriff is calling “natural causes” on September 7.

Tony White died at the Chatham County Jail September 7, 2016
Tony White died at the Chatham County Jail September 7, 2016

But two dozen inmates wrote a letter saying that’s not the whole story, and he had multiple medical conditions which were not checked, and that led to his death.

After his family got a lawyer and asked for more answers, an autopsy was ordered and the results should be available in the next few weeks.

Also this week, the family of another inmate, Donald Johnson filed a lawsuit against the jail and the former jail health care provider, Corizon.

Donald Johnson died at the Chatham County Jail in 2014
Donald Johnson died at the Chatham County Jail in 2014

Johnson died in custody back in 2014, after his blood pressure apparently wasn’t checked for 6 weeks before his death.

His family is asking for undisclosed damages in Federal Court.

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