Authorities investigate apparent suicide of Hays State Prison inmate

Authorities investigate apparent suicide of Hays State Prison inmate

November 22nd, 2017 by Tyler Jett in Breaking News

Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Charles Broady allegedly tried to kill himself on Sept. 15. In fact, he tried to kill himself on Nov. 15, investigators say.

The family of an inmate at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga., wants more details about what led to his apparent suicide and whether officers could have stopped it.

Charles Lee Broady, 41, tried to kill himself in his dorm at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15. Georgia Department of Corrections Director of Public Affairs Joan Heath declined to provide information about the events leading to the death, saying the investigation is still open. She also did not respond to an email asking how many suicides have occurred in Georgia prisons this year.

Broady's brother, Tavares Broady, said doctors at Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, Ga., pronounced him dead at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition to the Department of Corrections' inquiry into the death, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case. GBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Ramey said Broady was in a segregated portion of the prison with a roommate in his cell at the time he attempted suicide. He declined to comment on what the roommate told investigators.

Charles Broady

Charles Broady

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

"I can't go into specific details," Ramey said. "He's in a section of the prison where there is just two people per room. And for whatever reason, he decided to attempt to commit suicide."

He added: "There does not appear to be any foul play involved."

A corrections officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity to protect his or her job, told the Times Free Press that Broady had been sent to Tier 1 for talking while walking to another part of the prison, even after an officer told him to stop. Tier 1 is a segregated portion of the prison, for punishment. An inmate can, however, have a roommate. (Heath declined to comment when asked to confirm Broady was in Tier 1.)

Broady's mother, Vivian Spaulding, said Hays State Warden Kevin Sprayberry called the family on Nov. 16 to tell them Broady tried to kill himself. At the time, the family had not heard from him in about a month. When a Times Free Press reporter reached out to her Wednesday, Spaulding said she did not know another inmate had been in her son's cell when he allegedly tried to kill himself.

She said the family wants to hear the roommate's account. They also want to know how long it took a corrections officer to check Broady's cell.

"Why is there no communications between the prison and the family?" asked his brother, Carnell Broady. "There's none. There should be some representative from the prison talking to us on a daily basis."

Charles Broady had been in and out of the prison system since at least 2000, with charges ranging from aggravated assault to burglary and possession of narcotics. Most recently, he was convicted last year of failing to register as a sex offender. He was scheduled to be released no later than June 2019, unless he was paroled before then.

In 2015, Broady sued the warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Ga., claiming his face was slashed by gang members. He said he died, but the medical staff revived him. A jury trial for his case was set to begin Dec. 18 in U.S. District Court.

Spaulding said she and other family members do not believe Broady would try to kill himself.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.

This story was updated Nov. 22 at 11:59 p.m.