By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Alabama Department of Corrections officials are investigating the apparent suicide of a death row inmate who escaped execution by lethal injection just eight months ago.
ALDOC officials reported that Jeffery Lynn Borden, 57, was found hanging by a bed sheet in his William C. Holman Correctional Facility cell at approximately 2:30 a.m., Sunday, June 3, during a security check. He was pronounced dead a half-hour later.
Borden was sentenced to death for the murder of his estranged wife, Cheryl Borden, and her father, Roland Harris, who were slain at a family gathering in Gardendale on Christmas Eve, 1993. Both victims were shot in front of Cheryl and Jeffery Borden’s three children.
According to court documents, Borden arrived with the children at the Harris home at approximately 6:45 p.m. The couple was legally separated but not yet divorced, and the youngsters had spent several days prior to that with their father, who lived in the Huntsville area.
Harris, Cheryl Borden’s father and the grandfather of the children, and Cheryl Borden went outside to unload the children’s belongings. As they were doing so, Jeffery Borden pulled a .380-caliber pistol and shot Cheryl Borden in the back of the head. Harris was shot in the back when he ran toward the house to get help for his daughter. Both later died of their wounds.
A Jefferson County jury convicted Borden of two counts of capital murder, and 10 of the 12 jurors recommended that he pay for those crimes with his life. Borden’s attorneys filed several appeals, but none were granted.
He was most recently scheduled for execution on Oct. 5, 2017, but Chief U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins halted the execution about four hours before Borden was to be put to death.
ALDOC officials said the convicted killer’s remains were turned over to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.