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Death behind bars

SBI investigating after Atmore man apparently hangs self in city jail

News Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Atmore News does not report on suicides except in cases of unusual circumstances, such as that of a public official, suicide committed in a public place, or suicide in a detention or correctional facility.

Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are looking into the death of an Atmore man who apparently took his own life while in Atmore Police Department custody.
Such an investigation is standard procedure when a person dies while confined in any jail or other correctional facility, or while he or she is in police custody.
Unconfirmed reports are that the local man used an article of clothing to hang himself inside a cell at Atmore City Jail.
ALEA officials identified the victim as 57-year-old Thomas Marvin Lord of Atmore and said Lord’s body has been sent for an autopsy, also standard procedure in such a death.
“On Sunday, November 13, at the request of the Atmore Police Department, special agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into an in-custody death reported on Sunday, November 13, at the Atmore City Jail,” reads an ALEA press release. “Special agents identified Thomas Marvin Lord, 57, of Atmore, as the decedent. The body was released to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for further investigation.”
According to the release, the findings of SBI agents will be turned over to the Escambia County District Attorney’s Office for consideration.
Police Chief Chuck Brooks, who said Lord’s demise was the first in-custody death to occur at the city lockup during his eight-year tenure as chief, issued a brief statement Monday, November 14, explaining that the state agency had charge of the death investigation, and that he was not at liberty to discuss the case.
“On November 13, 2022, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) responded to the Atmore Municipal Jail in reference to a death in the jail,” the statement reads. “The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation and will provide any future statements in reference to the investigation.”
No further information was available at Tuesday’s press deadline as SBI agents continued their probe into Lord’s death.