Inmate committed suicide at Newton jail

COVINGTON -- An inmate committed suicide in a holding cell at Newton County Detention Center on Wednesday.

Curtis Lee Warren, 51, of 85 Belmont Trail, Covington was found dead Wednesday evening in a search cell at the jail, where he was waiting to be booked in for probation violation, according to Lt. Keith Crum.

"There was a death of a person in custody here and any time that happens we look over the circumstances and call in an outside agency to do an independent and thorough investigation," Crum said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the outside investigation, and will present its findings directly to the District Attorney's Office; the Newton County Sheriff's Office is conducting its own internal investigation, Crum said.

"The GBI medical examiner determined the cause of death as hanging and the manner as suicide. Agents from the investigative division will continue to investigate," said GBI Spokesman John Bankhead.

Warren was found guilty of forgery in Newton County court and sentenced to serve part of his time in the work release program, Crum said. He reported to work release on Sept. 14, but his paperwork had not been received from the court and he couldn't be processed; he was instructed to come back at a later date, Crum said.

Warren reported back to work release on Sept. 26 and while he was being processed, it was discovered that the probation office had a warrant out on him for probation violation, Crum said. He was then arrested and transported to the detention center.

"He was in the detention center cell awaiting intake and he expired in the cell," Crum said. "A detention officer found him and immediately started notifications and called for assistance from medical services, a nurse arrived and started CPR and mouth to mouth, EMS was called and arrived and continued to attempt to resuscitate him. He was transported to the Newton (Medical Center) emergency room and pronounced dead. The coroner was notified and is handling the investigation as far as cause and means of death."

Coroner Tommy Davis said, "There was no foul play. His death was caused by his own hand." Crum said Warren was alone in the search cell for about an hour and a half before he was discovered between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m. Warren showed no distress prior to the incident and "he had no known history to us of mental health issues," Crum said.