Parchman inmate found dead Wednesday morning

Updated - Wednesday evening, the inmate was identified as 49-year-old Thomas Lee.

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 3:19 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2020 9:20 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - An inmate was found dead Wednesday morning by apparent suicide at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) confirmed.

Wednesday evening, the inmate was identified as 49-year-old Thomas Lee. 

According to MDOC, Lee pleaded guilty to capital murder and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Oct. 20, 2014, in Grenada County for the death of Grenada Police Captain John Wayne Haddock. 

Haddock was hit by a fleeing car while attempting to lay spikes across Mississippi Highway 8 West to stop the car. Lee was a passenger in that vehicle. 

MDOC said Lee was found in his cell after 10 a.m. and CPR was performed for several minutes before he was pronounced dead.

MDOC shared the information to its social media accounts Wednesday afternoon.

“The death in Unit 29 appears to be by hanging, according to the Sunflower County coroner,” MDOC stated.

“The investigation into the death is ongoing, and the cause and the manner are pending confirmation of an autopsy,” MDOC stated.

This inmate's death marks the eighth such death at Parchman since the beginning of the new year. The deaths of Walter Gates and Roosevelt Holliman were gang-related.

The third was the result of a fight among cellmates. The fourth was from natural causes. The fifth inmate was found hanging Saturday. 

James Talley and Timothy Hudspeth suffered fatal injuries during a fight in Unit 30 Monday night.

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