Mother distraught over son's jail death

Mother distraught over son's jail death

May 7th, 2011 by Beth Burger in News

When 30-year-old Jason Logan was booked into the Hamilton County Jail on Tuesday, there were warning signs he would kill himself, his mother says.

He never called family members to tell them he was at the jail, and he told jail personnel he would take his own life, said Suzanne Logan.

"They say he was on watch and spoke with crisis intervention," Logan said as she drove around town looking for a funeral home to take care of her son's funeral arrangements. "After that, I don't know if there was a shift change."

Jail guards discovered that Logan hanged himself Thursday afternoon.

When she went to view his body, officials at the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's Office told her he used a bedsheet to hang himself, his mother said.

"I had to see him. ... I don't blame the jail. I don't know what took place. ... Yeah, he was capable of doing this, but there's some unanswered questions. I want answers," said Logan, who has tried to talk with investigators at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. "Everything is hush-hush. ... Nobody is answering anything."

The sheriff's office confirmed there was a suicide at the jail, then issued the following statement through Janice Atkinson, the sheriff's office public information officer: "As with any investigation that is ongoing, no further information has been released to me regarding the incident."

The sheriff's office is conducting both a criminal and internal investigation, she stated in an email.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Logan on Tuesday for driving on a revoked or suspended license after pulling him over near Thornwood Drive and Gann Road.

He also was cited for not wearing a seat belt, records show.

The same day, Soddy-Daisy police officers arrested Logan on charges of burglary and public intoxication after he was accused of trying to push his way into a residence at 9607 Barbee Road.

The woman answering the door told police that she was able to push Logan back.

Police found him hiding under a porch, extremely intoxicated, the arrest report states.

Logan had a prior criminal history that included arrests for alcohol and traffic-related charges as well as two previous robbery charges, according to Hamilton County court records.

Suzanne Logan said her son fought demons in the form of depression and drugs.

"It was just a struggle for him. ... He wanted to straighten up so bad. He had his good days and bad. ... It was just more than he could stand. He didn't want to continue like this," she said.

Hamilton County Chief Deputy Allen Branum said he didn't know the details of Logan's case, but he said the jail continues to get more and more inmates who suffer from mental illness, something jails aren't traditionally trained to deal with.

"I don't know what the answer is," Branum said.