Coroner: Parchman inmate found dead in cell

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UPDATE: 1/19/2020 7:23 p.m.

SUNFLOWER COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The Sunflower County coroner released an update about the date of the inmate’s death.

Inmate, Gabriel Carmen, died on Saturday, January 18, 2020. 

12 News corrected the date in the article below.


SUNFLOWER COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – According to Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton, she received a call at 7:23 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020, from Mississippi Department of Corrections Security at Parchman about the death of an inmate in Unit 29 Holding.

Burton said the inmate, Gabriel Carmen, was found hanging in his cell by two MDOC officers. He was reportedly last seen by officers at 6:20 p.m. during a security check. The officers said Carmen was irate and throwing feces on the wall in the hall.

At 6:41 p.m., the person who was cleaning the hall alerted the two officers that Carmen was hanging. They attempted to enter the cell, but the lock was reportedly jammed from the inside with the pipe. They believe Carmen removed the pipe from the toilet.

Maintenance responded to assist in opening the cell door so the medical staff could get to Carmen. He was pronounced dead at 7:21 p.m.

Burton said Carmen was removed from the unit by MDOC medical staff and was transported to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy. His official cause of death and manner of death are pending autopsy results.

Burton released the following statement:

I recently saw a protest rally where victim’s families stated they were not advised by MDOC of the details surrounding the death of their loved ones. I was unaware that they were not given details, so I have personally spoken to Mr. Carmen’s parents to express my condolences and offer answers to their questions. Please keep the Carmen family in your prayers, as well as MDOC Staff, inmates, and their families.

This comes after recent violence inside Mississippi’s prison system.

Carmen was serving time for grand larceny and unlawful touching of a child.

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