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Records released by Sheriff’s Office show 2022 was deadliest year for inmates since 2012

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Records released by Sheriff’s Office show 2022 was deadliest year for inmates since 2012

DeKalb County Jail. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County, GA– Records released by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office show that 2022 was the deadliest year for inmates since 2012, with a total of nine deaths reported this year.

That’s two more than were officially announced by DeKalb County Jail officials.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 18 announced that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been asked to probe the deaths of two inmates who died within the last 24 hours earlier this week. At the time, Decaturish reported it was the seventh death acknowledged by the Sheriff’s Office in 2022. But a records request revealed two more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths among jail inmates to nine. The Sheriff’s Office provided data about inmate deaths for the last 10 years, dating back to 2012.


The records released by the Sheriff’s Office show that 2015 was the second-deadliest year on record for jail inmates since 2012. Some of the cases over the last 10 years were ruled a suicide by the medical examiner.

DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox has not returned messages seeking comment about the record number of inmate deaths this year.

The proximity of inmate deaths in 2022 was also unusual, compared with prior years. On three occasions, the Sheriff’s Office announced that two inmate deaths occurred within the same week.

— The Sheriff’s Office reports that Lithonia resident Anthony Lamar Walker, 34, was found unresponsive in his jail cell on Dec. 26. He was later pronounced dead. On Dec. 27, officials at the jail found Clarkston resident Jackson Orukpete, 57, unresponsive in his jail cell. He was later pronounced dead.

— In August, the Sheriff’s Office reported the deaths of two inmates within a week. College Park, Georgia resident Michael Assevero, 65, was found hanging in his jail cell and unresponsive on Sunday, August 14, 2022. That same week, Snellville resident Viktor Ivanov Radunchev, 27, was found hanging in his jail cell and unresponsive.

— In July, the sheriff’s office reported two inmate deaths within the span of about a week. Stone Mountain resident Vernon Dennis Head, 48, was found unresponsive in his jail cell on July 22. That same week, officials found 55-year-old Decatur resident Nina Maureen Colman dead in the jail infirmary.

There was also a fourth instance of two inmates dying in the same week this year. The records request showed that inmates Taneeka Holmes and Kelly Ivory both died within two days of each other in May, deaths that were previously not announced by the Sheriff’s Office.

Here are the names of each inmate that has died since 2012. The cause of death is listed unless the case is still under investigation.

Note: The sheriff’s office erroneously included a 2014 death in the 2015 data. There were six deaths in 2015, not seven, and three in 2014, not two. 







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