The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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April 24, 2014

Inmate dies in shower

Snyder officials: 22-year-old facing murder charge kills self

SELINSGROVE — State troopers are investigating the apparent suicide of a federal male inmate inside Snyder County Prison early Wednesday morning.

Prison board chairman Malcolm Derk said Lamont Chyanne Blount, 22, of Philadelphia, was found unresponsive in a jail shower at 1 a.m.

“The staff responded very promptly as soon as they were aware of the situation and administered CPR,” he said. Emergency medical responders were called to the jail, to no avail.

No foul play is suspected, Derk said, though an investigation by Selinsgrove state troopers and an internal inquiry by prison management is under way.

Blount had been in jail since January on federal charges that he was involved in a drug ring supplying cocaine to area towns, including Williamsport, according to reports. Court records also show he had a criminal history of illegal gun possession.

Blount was arrested Tuesday while in custody on murder charges connected to the Oct. 16 shooting death of a 37-year-old man in Philadelphia.

Derk said he did not immediately know how long Blount had been at the Snyder County lockup.

Inmates are sometimes allowed to use the shower area late at night as an incentive offered by prison administration for good behavior, Derk said.

The most recent suicide at the prison occurred on April 17, 2007, with the hanging death of Jeremy W. Dock, 29, of Beaver Springs, and embroiled the county in a lengthy lawsuit that eventually was dismissed.

Dock’s parents, Jeffrey A. Dock and Linda L. Long, filed a wrongful death and negligence complaint in federal court contesting the suicide and claiming their son was killed by other inmates or guards because it was believed he was cooperating with a drug trafficking investigation at the jail.

At the time of his death, Dock was being held on a parole violation and was not deemed a suicide risk.

 

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