GBI investigating inmate death at Muscogee Co. Jail

By Sharifa Jackson, Reporter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - New details have been released about an apparent suicide by an inmate at the Muscogee County Jail on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The inmate is being identified as 41-year-old Roger Tyler, who was reportedly found hanging in the shower area by another inmate.

Guards were not around at the time of the accident, but found Tyler unresponsive a short time later.

He was transported to Midtown Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins says although Tyler was known to have struggled with mental issues in the past, he was believed to be in decent health.

"We are aware of a mental health history with this inmate, and our mental health people had dealt with him in the past," Sheriff Tompkins said. "But my understanding at this time was he was stable, he was in a general population dorm, no indication that there were any issues."

The GBI is taking over the investigation, and Tyler's body is being sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.

Sheriff Tompkins says this is the first inmate suicide in quite some time.

She also says the department will be analyzing current policies and procedures such as tighter inmate security and monitoring high alert inmates so that something like this doesn't happen again.

"This was just something we, no one foresaw," Sheriff Tompkins said. "We did everything appropriate, again. The investigation will of course detail that out if it was something else but so far, there's not anything that is immediately coming to light that we could of known, or should have known at this time."

Tyler was arrested on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 with charges of criminal trespass, family violence and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

He was scheduled to be released from jail Sunday, Feb. 5.

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