Lancaster inmate dies after hanging himself in jail cell; SLED investigating

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMay 20, 2014 

Randy Stevens

— A Lancaster County Detention Center inmate who deputies say killed himself Tuesday had been evaluated at Springs Memorial Hospital after arresting officers received word that he might have been suicidal, Sheriff Barry Faile said.

Corrections officers at the detention center early Tuesday discovered Randy William Stevens, 44, hanging in a private cell, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s news release. Officers attempted to revive him, but after paramedics arrived, Stevens was pronounced dead on the scene.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating Stevens’ death. SLED was informed about the death between 4 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, and sent investigators with the crime scene unit to investigate, said Thom Berry, SLED spokesman.

Stevens had been jailed on Monday after he was charged with public disorderly conduct and resisting arrest at the Lancaster County Memorial Park, deputies said.

Court records show that deputies charged Stevens last week with public disorderly conduct. Sheriff Faile confirmed that Stevens was released from jail on Monday before deputies received another call about him.

While responding to Monday’s incident, Stevens allegedly became combative with officers, Faile said. Deputies received a call that Stevens was possibly suicidal. Deputies took Stevens to Springs Memorial Hospital, Faile said, where he received an evaluation before he was “cleared for incarceration.”

He was then booked into the detention center. Stevens was hanging by a bed sheet when jail officers found him, Faile said.

Stevens was not on any type of suicide watch while in jail, the sheriff said, nor did he mention wanting to harm himself. Springs Memorial Hospital officials would not confirm Stevens’ past status as a patient.

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082

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