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DeKalb County Sheriff announces third inmate death of 2023

Chamblee Crime and public safety DeKalb County Trending

DeKalb County Sheriff announces third inmate death of 2023

DeKalb County Jail. Photo by Dean Hesse.

DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has announced the third inmate death of 2023.

The death occurred last week, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

“Atlanta resident Ricky Lavoghn McCullum, 58, was returned to the jail on the evening of Wednesday, July 19, 2023 after having been released from the hospital following a nine-day stay while still in custody,” a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said. “Preliminary incident reports indicate that Mr. McCullum became unresponsive while in the jail’s intake area before being escorted to a housing unit. He did not respond to emergency medical services administered by officers, on-site medical staff, and DeKalb EMS before being pronounced deceased.”

He’d been in custody since June 2023 on accusations of criminal trespass and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, two misdemeanor offenses. He was charged after “refusing to vacate the premises of a closed shopping center in Chamblee, Ga,” the press release says.

According to the press release, McCullum received a $1,000 bond but “refused to agree that he would not return to the shopping center – a condition of the bond.”

“The incident remains under investigation by the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards,” the press release says. “No cause of death has been released, pending reports from the Medical Examiner’s Office.”

For details about the other two inmate deaths this year, click here.

Decaturish recently published a lengthy investigative story about deaths at the jail in 2022, the deadliest year in a decade. Wellpath, a contractor oversaw healthcare at the jail in 2022, but mental health was provided by Centurion, a different contractor. Several of the inmates who died in 2022 had a history of mental illness, records show.

The county sheriff recently announced that Armor Health will be taking over medical and mental health services at the jail.

But the company has faced litigation, investigations, and in one case a criminal conviction over deaths that have occurred in the numerous facilities where the company has a contract.

An Armor Health spokesperson said the company does not comment on pending litigation and the company did not directly respond when asked about the 2022 criminal conviction in Wisconsin. But the company, which has contracts at 52 facilities in 10 states, defended its record and its ability to provide adequate healthcare to DeKalb County Jail inmates. For more information about that story, click here.

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