Man dies following jail hanging

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Wesson man died in Jackson Wednesday afternoon after hanging himself in the Lincoln County Jail earlier in the day, said Sheriff Steve Rushing.

     James D. Hoffmann, 34, of Wesson, was pronounced dead around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said Lincoln County Coroner Clay McMorris.

     Rushing said Hoffmann was found around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday hanging from the upstairs balcony in a two-level open zone area of the jail. Hoffman had used a bedsheet in the incident.

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     The sheriff said authorities are still sorting out details in the case. He said the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations are handling the case.

     “We’re letting them be the lead investigators,” Rushing said. “It’s a matter of procedure.”

     Rushing said there was no evidence of foul play and Hoffmann displayed no mental issues when was brought to the jail initially.

     “Everybody who comes in, we screen,” Rushing said. “Anybody who shows anything, we contact (mental health services provider) Region 8.”

     Hoffmann was arrested April 6 on an uttering forgery charge by the Brookhaven Police Department, Rushing said. Charges against him from other communities were pending.

     Following Wednesday morning’s incident, Hoffmann was taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center. He was stabilized there and then flown to UMMC, McMorris said.

     An autopsy has been ordered and was expected to be done today, the coroner said. Community Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements for Hoffmann.