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Inmate dies at local jail

Inmate dies at local jail

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2010 9:57 pm

By JOHN BRANNON
Staff Reporter
An inmate death at the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex was reported today by Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder.
Vastbinder identified the inmate as Bruce Evan Williams, 32, of Union City.
About 5 p.m. Saturday, Williams was found in a holding cell, unresponsive, with a looped sheet around his neck, the other end tied to a phone rack.
“They called for an ambulance, got him down … and started CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). He had a pulse and respiration,” Vastbinder said. “He was taken to the (local) hospital and transferred to (a Jackson hospital). He passed away at 7:51 a.m. Sunday.”
Vastbinder said Williams came into Obion County custody Friday as the result of a police pursuit that began earlier that day in Dyersburg. “This is the man who ran from Dyersburg police and crashed in the school zone at Obion Central,” he said. “He had had an accident and left the scene. Dyersburg police pursued him but he outran them. They stopped pursuit at the county line but Williams didn’t know it. There was a BOLO (be on the lookout) out on him. As he came into Troy, he met one of our patrol cars on Highway 51.
“He was still running at a high rate of speed, zigzagging in and out of traffic. The deputy turned around to start pursuit but before he could initiate it, just as he was coming up on the curve at Obion Central, all he saw was a big white puff of smoke where Williams had run into a vehicle.
“He was apprehended, taken to the hospital, treated and released (from the hospital.) While he was here, he was held in a single cell. About 4 p.m. Saturday, the trusties fed him, he talked to them, they knew him from his being in jail before.
“When they came back to pick up his tray — he had eaten his meal — they found he had taken a sheet, made a loop in it around a telephone rack in the holding cell. He sat down and hung himself.”
Vastbinder said Williams faced charges of reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident and evading arrest.
Published in The Messenger 1.25.10

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