Sheriff addresses 3rd inmate death this year

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins is responding to the public’s concern about the third inmate death this year in the Muscogee County Jail.

Sheriff Tompkins says she understands the public’s concern, but she’s asking for patience Thursday night. She also broke down each inmate death this year. Tompkins says when it comes to the death earlier this month, the GBI is heading up the investigation.

“What I can say is that each of these deaths has been very different and the GBI has been called each time because we want the public to know and have confidence that we’re going to be very transparent with our dealings with them,” says Sheriff Tompkins.

Thursday, Tompkins addressed the death of 31-year-old Feaginess Wood. She says he died on July 1.

“He was transported to the hospital. He had a head injury at that time but the preliminary report from the medical examiner are that …That head injury was not his cause of death,” says Sheriff Tompkins.

Tompkins says the second inmate death was 42-year-old Undra Williams. He died April 29.

“Preliminary autopsy reports on Mr. Williams indicate that his aorta ruptured…there was no indication of foul play,” says Sheriff Tompkins.

Tompkins says the Sheriff’s Office is still awaiting toxicology results in the case of Williams. The first inmate death this year was 41-year-old Roger Tyler. He died January 24.

“Autopsy revealed that Mr. Tyler’s death was ruled a suicide,” says Sheriff Tompkins.

When it comes to all three inmate deaths, the sheriff provided a message to the community.

“We want the public to know that we take each of these very seriously and for each of these deaths there is a review and we review with both our medical, our mental health, our correctional staff each and every time there’s an occurrence like this, and additionally the Department of Justice comes behind us and reviews,” says Sheriff Tompkins.

Tompkins says if the Department of Justice makes recommendations then the sheriff’s office would follow their instructions.

News 3 is working to learn whether any recommendations have been made for either inmate death case.

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