UPDATE: Female inmate found dead in Muscogee County Jail

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 24, 2013 

Lori Carroll, an inmate who had been held on a disorderly while intoxicated charge at the Muscogee County Jail, was pronounced dead Thursday morning, Muscogee Coroner Buddy Bryan said.

He said officers had last seen the 46-year-old inmate alive about 4:30 a.m. When they returned to her cell, Carroll was unresponsive.

Bryan said she was found on the floor at 5 a.m. and pronounced dead 40 minutes later.

Carroll was jailed Tuesday for disorderly while intoxicated. Jail records show she was booked in at 8:55 a.m., having been arrested at 5:25 a.m. at 4014 Oates Ave. She lived on Oates Avenue and was also known by the last name Chestnutt.

An autopsy already has been completed in Atlanta, Bryan said.

Sheriff’s Maj. Randy Robertson said a death investigation is ongoing. Authorities weren’t aware of any conflicts or negative interactions Carroll may have had with other prisoners, he said.

Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr said Carroll didn’t commit suicide. “The initial thing is we don’t think she committed suicide,” the sheriff said late Thursday. “We are just trying to find out what led up to her passing.”

Darr also noted that an inmate like Carroll with mental health issues shouldn’t have been housed at the county jail, but at an institution.

“We have people with extreme mental health issues being pushed into county jails,” he said. “It’s not only here locally, but throughout the country. I think we have a good relationship with New Horizons. People like her really don’t need to be in the county jail.”

Court records show Carroll had a history of run-ins with the law, but only for petty offenses.

Identified in court filings as Lori Michelle Carroll, her record showed the following:

She pleaded guilty Nov. 1, 2007, to criminal trespass for entering the Chevron station at 8050 Beaver Run Road the previous Oct. 21, though she had been warned to stay away.

On July 27, 2009, she was charged with making harassing phone calls to an Asa Drive resident and making unlawful 911 calls by using abusive language and profanity.

On Aug. 19, 2010, she was charged with having less than an ounce of marijuana. She pleaded guilty and got 30 days in jail and 12 months’ probation.

On Dec. 11, 2010, she was charged with theft by taking for stealing an LG high definition TV from Walmart, 5448 Whittlesey Blvd. She pleaded guilty to shoplifting June 21, 2011, though this past summer that charge was corrected from shoplifting to misdemeanor theft by taking. Her sentence was the same: five years with 12 months to serve, with credit for time served.

On Oct. 4, 2012, she pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and battery with family violence. She was placed on probation for 24 months and ordered to complete substance abuse counseling and undergo random drug testing. This past March 8, she was given credit for time served and released on unsupervised probation.

On May 8, she was charged with terroristic threats on the allegation she threatened another woman by pulling a knife and saying, “I’ll school you.” On Aug. 27, defense attorney Kathryn Rhodes sought a psychological evaluation for Carroll. The attorney also sought to reduce Carroll’s bond, saying her client had been held on $5,000 bond since May 8.

On Aug. 30, Carroll pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct. She was sentenced to 12 months’ probation with credit for time served, and ordered stay 1,000 yards away from the woman she threatened.

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