Tahlequah Daily Press

April 8, 2013

Inmate death an apparent suicide

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah police detectives on Friday were investigating an apparent suicide of an inmate at the city jail.

A spokesman for the Tahlequah Police Department said Shawn L. Branham, 44, of Tahlequah, was booked into the jail Thursday evening for public intoxication and an outstanding warrant.

During an inmate 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 administered, and soon after Branham was 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. Tahlequah detectives said they contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on Friday and planned to turn the matter over to that agency.