Sheriff identified inmate who hanged himself at jail

Published 11:17 pm Monday, May 15, 2017

State officials are investigating the death of an inmate at the Carter County Detention Center on Monday afternoon after he was reportedly found hanging in his cell by correction officers.

“We had an inmate hang himself,” Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said.

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Shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday night, Lunceford identified the inmate as 58-year-old Thomas Dewey Perry, who as being held in the detention center on charges of fifth offense driving on a revoked license, violation of probation, and failure to appear in court.

According to Lunceford, corrections officers in the detention center found Perry hanging in his cell saround 1:30 p.m. Lunceford said he had not had a chance to review the information to find out the exact time the officers discovered the man hanging.

Corrections officers got the man down and called for medical help. Lunceford said medical personnel performed CPR on Perry, who was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Lunceford said Perry was being housed in a cell by himself when the incident occurred.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was notified of the incident, and TBI agents responded to the detention center.

“The TBI will be conducting the investigation because it was an ‘in-custody death,’” Lunceford said, adding any further information to be released would come from the TBI since they are handling the investigation.