GBI to investigate Muscogee inmate deaths - WRBL

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Update: GBI to start recent Muscogee County Jail inmate homicide from scratch

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Update: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's probe into a Muscogee County Jail inmate's murder will start from scratch.

Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr abruptly changed his mind and decided to bring in the external agency to investigate the three recent inmate deaths one day after standing by his stance that no outside agency was needed. 

"I want to reassure the citizens of Muscogee County that I take every concern very seriously and the GBI will provide a fair and mutually beneficial outcome," Darr said at a Tuesday press conference. He declined to take questions after his statement. Sheriff Darr said it was his decision to call in the GBI after "further reflection."

Inmate Isaac Kindred was found strangled to death in his cell last Saturday after he got into a fight with Jeffrey McKinney, his cell-mate. McKinney has been charged with Kindred's murder and appeared in court Wednesday morning. Officials said deputies were alerted to the incident after noticing the cell was flooded with water.

GBI Special Agent Wayne Smith said Wednesday there was nothing wrong with the current investigation, but they wanted to start from the beginning. That included reprocessing the crime scene and re-interviewing witnesses. Smith said agents will construct a timeline of the last 24-48 hours for both the victim and offender.

Smith said they plan to do an extremely thorough investigation. He said the GBI will determine if there are any commonalities between the murder and the other two inmate deaths to decide if they need to fully investigate them as well. Right now, Smith said they are only reviewing the two October deaths.

Darr and his department have received criticism, including from the Columbus chapter of the NAACP, after three inmates died in the jail in the past two weeks. Nate Sanderson, the President of the Columbus NAACP, said the reversal is a plus for the community, and he's glad Darr was willing to reconsider.

 

 

 

 

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

Sydney Cameron

Sydney joined the WRBL news team in December 2011 after working as a freelance reporter in Washington, D.C. More>>

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