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Two inmate deaths reported in Muscogee County this month

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 8:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Two inmates from the Muscogee County Jail have died within days of each other. Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman announced details during a press conference Wednesday morning.

On July 7th, Keairis Hollingsworth, an inmate at the Muscogee County Jail, reported having chest pains. Within a few hours, he was transferred to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital after being examined by the medical staff at the jail.

“They monitored him for 6 days, but then he expired,” said Countryman.

Because of HIPPA, Sheriff Greg Countryman says he can’t disclose specific medical information, but he says there is no foul play expected in Hollingsworth’s death.

In a non-related incident, Sheriff Countryman says he was notified of yet another inmate death on Tuesday afternoon.

”We got a call about an inmate who had fell and was not conscious.” According to Sheriff Countryman, deputies inside the jail conducting safety checks heard inmates yelling for help. When deputies arrived at one of the cells, they found 75-year-old Robert James.

“The coroner was called in by EMS and the coroner made his determination and he said that there was no foul play or anything,” Countryman added.

Sheriff Countryman says, even though the coroner found that there was no foul play involved in James’ death, he enacted a new policy moving forward when any inmate dies inside of the Muscogee County Jail. “From now on, the GBI will be called in to work that case A to Z to prepare and present back to us their findings so we can immediately let the public know.”

Of the 959 inmates who are currently lodged at the Muscogee County Jail, these are the first two inmates who have died since Sheriff Greg Countryman was elected into office. He tells News Leader 9 that no foul play is expected with either inmate, but the GBI has been called in to examine one of the deaths.

Sheriff Countryman stressed the importance of making sure all inmates receive adequate physical and mental health care despite many claims that those standards are not being upheld.

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