GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville County Coroner’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating two inmate deaths in Greenville County.
“We responded to the detention center to the housing unit that they were in and there were two inmates that were pronounced still on scene there,” said Jenn Cason, Senior Deputy Coroner, Greenville County.
Cason said they are still investigating the cause and manner of death, but said this is abnormal.
“We’ll investigate it with all of our options opened and narrow things down as we receive more information. Obviously, it’s something that we look a little bit harder into. It’s an in-custody death, and two of them at that, so that kind makes it a little bit more abnormal,” Cason said.
Cason said she hasn’t heard of two people being found dead on the same day at the jail, until now.
“No, not on the same day. Definitely not in the same housing unit,” Cason said. “They were not housed in the same room permanently, but they were found in the same room at the time of incident,” she said.
“My brother was not in his dorm room. He was in a dorm room of another inmate,” said Patsy Tucker, Broome’s sister. “I talked to my brother at 12:48 to be exact at 3:20 is when they found him unresponsive,” Tucker claims. “So from 12:48 to 3:20 my brother in a whole other part of the jail in a cell he’s not supposed to be in. Locked in that cell that he’s not supposed to be in and nobody knew. Nobody knew, that makes no sense to me,” Tucker said.
The coroner’s office said paramedics were called to the detention center after the two were found unresponsive in the housing unit.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics shortly before 4:00 p.m.
Tucker said she thought it was a bad joke when she got the call about her brother.
“I thought they were lying because the one thing that you think of as a family when your loved one is off the street and in jail or incarcerated is that they’re safe. No harm is going to come to them, you know, especially not death. So I really thought that it’s a bad joke. I didn’t think it was true until I talked to the coroner’s office and she told me yes it was my brother,” Tucker said.
Tucker said Broome was supposed to come stay with her when he got out. She said he was set to get out of jail on Friday.
“He was here for a 30-day charge. He was being released today,” Tucker said. “Today at 12:00 he would’ve been out,” she said. “He was coming to stay with me in Columbia and then we had a facility that he was going to for men that was going to help him get back on his feet. Help him get a job, and just tools that he needed as a man to help him get back on track,” she said.
Autopsies were performed Friday and the cause and manner of death remain under investigation, the coroner’s office said.
“Right now, just because it’s so early in the investigation, we haven’t ruled out anything,” Cason said.
“We did complete that today after making contact with the families and advised them of any of the findings, and that we don’t have a definitive cause of manner of death right now, everything is still under investigation,” Cason said. “There wasn’t any trauma or injuries noted to either one of the gentlemen that passed away,” she said.
The coroner’s office said they haven’t been made aware of any significant medical issues, and right now, they believe there’s no potential threat to anyone else at the jail.
“Right now, it appears that there’s nothing that’s a potential threat to anybody else in the facility. The officers and all of the detention staff– their awareness is heightened. SLED is also investigating it,” Cason said. “Our office doesn’t have a reason to believe right now, that there’s anything outside of this isolated incident that’s going to arise from it,” she said.
Tucker said Broome has a teenage daughter and another baby girl who is months old.
“My brother, he was good. He was. He was my best friend. You know, we were three years apart. Three years apart and he loved his girls, his girls were his life, and their devastated,” Tucker said.
Now she wants answers for both men and their families.
“I need to know what happened to my brother,” Tucker said.
“They should’ve been safe in here. You know. Did they do wrong of some sort to get in here, yes. Did they deserve to die? No. Just because you’re locked up, doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, and my brother definitely wasn’t a bad person,” Tucker said.
Officials with the Greenville County Coroner’s Office said they’ve been in touch with the families, but said they are working hard to get them the closure they need.
“We’ve completed our autopsies. We’ve been in touch with the families to let know, but we don’t have any definitive answers for them, but we’re going to work hard to get them,” Cason said.
“We’re going to do everything we can to get them all of the answers that they need to hopefully get them the closure that they need,” Cason said.
“SLED was requested by the Greenville County Jail Administrator to investigate the deaths of two male inmates at the Greenville County Detention Center yesterday afternoon.
No further details are available from SLED at this time as agents continue to investigate.”South Carolina Law Enforcement Division