Commonwealth Journal

Local News

May 25, 2007

PCDC inmate hangs himself in jail cell

Duncan was serving five-year term for assaulting his parents

An inmate at the Pulaski County Detention Center died yesterday at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital after he hanged himself in his cell on Wednesday night.

Jason Duncan, 31, of Eubank, was pronounced dead at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital at 1:50 p.m. Thursday, after being hospitalized Wednesday night.

Pulaski County Jailer Mike Harris said as soon as one of the deputies found Duncan at around 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday, the nurse on staff responded immediately. The Somerset Fire/EMS responded shortly thereafter and Duncan was transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

Harris said deputies at the jail are required to make rounds every 20 minutes and had checked on Duncan at 6:50 p.m. When an officer checked again on Duncan at 7:09 p.m., Duncan had already made the suicide attempt.

Harris requested that the Somerset Police Department investigate the incident.

Somerset Police Det. Shannon Smith said the incident is being investigated as a suicide. He said there is not a question of negligence on the part of the jail.

“They were checking on him in the proper intervals,” said Smith, “and everything looked to be in order and in line with nothing out of the ordinary.”

Smith confirmed that Duncan, who was in a segregated cell, had attempted to hang himself. Smith added that during a routine check, a deputy jailer found Duncan hanging from a ceiling vent by a bed sheet.

Harris said Duncan was placed into a cell by himself on May 19, after he was involved in a fight.

Harris said that all inmates at the Pulaski County Detention Center are checked on every 20 minutes.

Smith said when the deputy jailer discovered Duncan, he immediately got him down and began CPR. A nurse on staff also aided in the rescue attempt until EMS units arrived on the scene.

“It is a most unusual circumstance ... but it does happen, all around the n ation,” said Smith.

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