Inmate’s death under investigation
by Elane Jones
May 22, 2013 | 7085 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation are continuing their investigation into the death of an inmate at Walker County Jail late Monday night. Authorities believe the man’s death may be from natural causes.

Trent McCluskey, administrator of the Walker County Jail, said Tuesday afternoon that inmate Eddie Jerome Gann, 52, of Cordova was pronounced dead late Monday night at Walker Baptist Medical Center. Gann was transferred to the hospital after being found unresponsive in his cell in the medical infirmary at the jail.

Preliminary autopsy findings indicate Gann may have died from a heart attack, but McCluskey said authorities won’t know the exact cause of death until additional testing has been completed and the final report has been issued.

“Mr. Gann was in our medical infirmary and had been evaluated several times throughout the day Monday by medical personnel from the Preemptive Forensic Health Solutions, which oversees the medical needs of all the prisoners here at the county jail,” McCluskey said. “We were told he was medically stable and there was no need to transfer him to a hospital at that particular time, and we continued to keep a check on him at regular intervals throughout the day to be sure he was still doing OK.”

McCluskey said corrections officers at the jail checked on Gann about every 15 minutes and each time found him responsive and he seemed to be doing OK. Around 10:08 p.m., one of the officers checked on Gann and found him unresponsive.

“Unable to find a pulse, the officer immediately grabbed our AED (Automated External Defibrillator) machine and hooked Mr. Gann up to it,” McCluskey said. “But the AED showed Mr. Gann had a pulse and no shock was issued. The officer then contacted 911 for an ambulance to come and transport Mr. Gann to the hospital.”

McCluskey said emergency personnel with the Jasper Fire Rescue Department and Regional Paramedical Services responded to the jail and immediately began working on Gann.

“The folks with Jasper Fire and RPS were johnny on the spot. They’re always right there when we need them,” McCluskey said. “They stabilized Mr. Gann and transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at short time later.”

McClusky said Gann had been an inmate at the county jail since November.

Gann was arrested in November on several drug charges, including trafficking, unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, McCluskey said.

The Walker County Coroner’s Office took custody of Mr. Gann’s body at the hospital and sent it to the Department of Forensics where the autopsy will be performed, which is protocol in the death of a jail inmate.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigations has also been contacted and will be conducting an investigation, McCluskey said.