Sheriff: Inmate found dead at Henderson County jail

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HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A second inmate in less than a week is found dad in the Henderson County Jail. His family said he was suffering from a heart condition, but his exact cause of death is unknown. “I’m at a loss,” Conley’s sister Sharon Spain said. “All I was told was that my brother was dead.” A family looking for answers after they say Jeff Conley died in his cell Friday. “I just want it checked into,” Spain said. “My brother was a gentle giant, he really was.” Jail officials said Conley’s death is the second in less than a week, something they say is concerning. “It’s not rare for there to be a death in jail, but we’ve gone 8 years and not had any,” Henderson County Sheriff Brian Duke said. “So it’s very rare to have 2 in a week.” Sheriff Duke said the cause of death is still under investigation, but family members said Conley had health problems in the past. “He had a heart condition where he needed a defibrillator,” Spain said. “He also had a pacemaker put in his heart.” Although they do not believe protocol was broken, in either death, the sheriff’s department said they have asked the TBI and Department of Corrections to take a closer look. “Medical conditions, medical protocol, interviews with other inmates,” Sheriff Duke said. Sheriff Duke said although answers are coming, the whole situation is just shocking. “I know how I feel, how devastated I feel,” Duke said. “So I can’t even imagine how they feel.” The family said they are happy the sheriff is being so proactive. “We just want more answers but he has been very reassuring that he brought in additional investigators,” Conley’s niece Nicole Ford said. Inmate Gina White was found dead February 7 inside an isolation cell in the Henderson County Jail. Her cause of death is still unknown. The sheriff said it could be up to eight weeks before autopsy results are released.

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