COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - A Lowndes County inmate is dead after he was found unresponsive in his jail cell Thursday morning.
Coroner Greg Merchant identifies that inmate as Johnny Payne, 56, of Columbus, and says he was alone in his cell when another inmate made the discovery after 11 a.m.
Chief Deputy Marc Miley says Payne was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital - Golden Triangle where he was pronounced dead.
Jail records show Payne was booked into the jail Sunday on a drug charge.
Payne's body will be sent Friday morning for an autopsy. However, Merchant says it does not appear foul play was involved and it appeared Payne died from hanging.
Miley says the Mississippi Department of Investigation is also involved in the investigation, which is standard procedure when an inmate dies.
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