Apparent inmate suicide to be investigated

Published 7:05 pm Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the circumstances of the apparent suicide of an inmate at the Shelby County Jail.

Devon Blake Patterson, 17, of Pelham was found dead in his cell at 5:10 a.m. April 1. Patterson improvised a method to hang himself, according to a press release from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Patterson had been charged with first-degree robbery and was being held on a bond of $60,000. He was being held in the adult facility because of a court order that he be held and tried as an adult.

Upon discovering Patterson’s body, corrections officers requested emergency medical services. Southeast Shelby Rescue responded, arriving at the jail at 5:22 a.m. The Alabama Bureau of Investigation was notified, along with the Shelby County Coroner.

“The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is cooperating fully with ABI investigators as they review the circumstances of Patterson’s death,” the press release read.

Since the jail was opened in August 2004, there have been two other hanging deaths, one in August 2005 and one in October 2008.