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2 Jackson County jailers fired after inmate hanging

Employees failed to check on man, official says

POSTED: December 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has closed its investigation into the death of a Jackson County Jail inmate, and the findings have led to two jail employees losing their jobs.

"As a result of the internal investigation, two jail employees have been terminated from employment for failing to follow proper procedures," said Major David Cochran of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

On Nov. 12, Winder resident Ricky Finch was brought to the jail on theft by taking, public drunkenness and open container violations at about 2:30 p.m.

After being brought to the jail, Finch, 50, told the staff that he wanted to "harm himself." He then was placed in an isolation cell where a staff member was supposed to check on him every 15 minutes.

Seven hours after being brought to the jail, Finch was found dead "hanging in the cell with a pair of socks."

According to Cochran, the jail employees were fired for not checking on Finch as required, and as was indicated "in file documentation."

"The discrepancies in the physical checks were discovered after a review of the security tapes," Cochran said.

Cochran said Finch’s death is the second one at the Jackson County Jail for 2008. The first death earlier in the year was from a heart attack. Cochran also says that Finch’s death is the first death by hanging in the facility’s history.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the inmate’s death but has not released any findings.



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