A Twiggs County man died after hanging himself while in a holding cell at the Twiggs County jail Monday evening, officials said.
Sheriff Darren Mitchum said Robert Lee Chambers, 39, of Airport Road in Twiggs County, apparently hanged himself sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. by using the cord of a phone that is in the holding cell.
Chambers had been arrested earlier that day and charged with a DUI, Mitchum said. Chambers had just been released Monday morning after being arrested on different traffic charges on Saturday, including another DUI, open container and speeding, Mitchum said.
Mitchum said Chambers had told the deputies who arrested him Monday that he would kill himself after he was released.
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“You get that a lot, especially when a lot of these folks are intoxicated,” said Mitchum, who said it was the first time a prisoner had killed himself during the five years he’s been sheriff. “The deputies talked with him for a while and put him on suicide watch. They took out all of the foreign objects — his belt, his shoelaces.”
There were no other prisoners in the cell, Mitchum said. The booking officer, who was watching the cell, left for a few minutes to assist another deputy with a medical call at a different part of the jail, Mitchum said. It was during that 10-minute interval that Chambers apparently hanged himself.
Mitchum said the body would be turned over to the GBI crime lab this morning, and the GBI will be called in to investigate.
Mitchum said the phone was in the holding cell to allow prisoners to arrange bail, because there wasn’t another part of the jail to do so. He said the phone will be removed from the holding cell.