COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Two inmates have died at the Muscogee County Jail in the last week. Sheriff Greg Countryman held a press conference today to discuss the deaths.
Last week, on July 7, Kerris Hollingsworth died after being transferred to Piedmont Regional hospital 6 days before. Yesterday Robert James, a 75-year-old Black male, died in his cell.
“We are here for transparency. All of this is done in the spirit of transparency,” says countryman at the beginning of the press conference.
Countryman explained the story of Hollingsworth’s death first.
“On July 7th of this year this month Kerris Hollingsworth, an inmate at the Muscogee County Jail, was seen by our nursing professionals at the county jail regarding chest pains,” Countryman said. “Hollingsworth was seen by the nurse staff where he was examined and X-rayed.”
“It was later determined that he needed to go to the hospital. He was transported to Piedmont hospital in Columbus, Georgia. They admitted inmate Hollingsworth and he was in the hospital for 6 days. He later expired after 6 days of being in the hospital.”
Countryman then gave the details of yesterday’s death.
“That there was no foul play, we have no reason to believe that there was any foul play involved in that.”
“The deputies in the county jail had previously done a safety check and as they were outside of the cell the inmates was banging on the window advising them to come in after they had just exited from a cell shortly before. They came in and they found Robert James, a 75-year-old black male laying on the floor there. His cellmate also witnessed what happened and so all of this happened within a matter of minutes.”
Countryman said the GBI has been called in to investigate following the inmate deaths.