Tahlequah Daily Press

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April 5, 2013

Police investigating apparent suicide in city jail

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah police detectives on Friday were investigating after an inmate at the city jail apparently committed suicide.

A spokesman for the Tahlequah Police Department said Shawn L. Branham, 44, of Tahlequah, was booked into the city jail Thursday evening for public intoxication and a warrant out of Cherokee County.

During a jail check, a jailer found Branham on the floor of his cell. Officers and jailers entered the cell and discovered a mattress seam wrapped around Branham’s neck and an intercom speaker.

CPR was started on Branham, who was soon after taken by ambulance to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Police officials said no other inmates were jailed in the same cell as Branham.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy on Branham’s body, and the Oklahoma Jail Inspections Office was also contacted. Police said the investigation will continue until the medical examiner determines Branham’s official cause of death.

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