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Sheriff: Inmate had been in fight (Jailed for Failure to Register as a Homeless Person)

5-19-2009 North Carolina:

MORGANTON - The inmate who apparently killed himself in jail on Thursday was recovering from injuries he received during a jail fight

Timothy Lee Hurd, 48, a Catawba County inmate at the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility, was pronounced dead just before 10 p.m. Thursday, said Burke County Sheriff John McDevitt, who also is the chairman of the board of directors for BCDCF.

Hurd was placed in a medical holding cell after being treated at a local hospital for fight injuries and to isolate him from other inmates.

Catawba County on May 12 charged Hurd with failing to register as a sexual offender.
McDevitt said some inmates "didn't like the fact he was a sex offender," and that's what led to the fight

When Hurd returned from the hospital he was given a bag with his belongings in it, McDevitt said. Hurd was able to take the bag with him in the cell, he said.

It was a string from that bag that Hurd apparently used to hang himself, said Maj.

David Pendley with the Burke County Sheriff's Office.

McDevitt said that at BCDCF as long as an inmate isn't combative or suicidal, he or she is allowed to keep shoe strings and that sort of thing. Hurd was not considered suicidal, McDevitt said. That's why Hurd was allowed to take the bag with him into the cell, he said.

Officers at the jail last saw Hurd alive at 9:01 p.m. reports said. The inmate was reading a Bible.

Fourteen minutes later jailers found him hanging from a sink in the cell. A suicide note was tucked into the Bible, according to officials. It appeared he first tried to hang himself from the ceiling, McDevitt said, but the string broke.

Jailers make rounds through the facility every 30 minutes, unless there has been a suicide threat, McDevitt said.

In that case, jailers check on inmates every 15 minutes, he said.

Hurd was not under suicide watch.

He did have a faint pulse when jailers found him, but was pronounced dead at 9:55 p.m., Pendley said.

McDevitt said it will be about six weeks before they receive results from an autopsy on Hurd.

Hurd was convicted in April, 2003 in Steuben County, New York on sexual offense charges.

When he was jailed, his address was listed as "homeless," he has a previous address of Beaverton, Oregon.

Hurd's son, McDevitt said, was contacted after Hurd's death.

The SBI is investigating the death. ..News Source.. by Sharon McBrayer | The News Herald

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