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Pender Co. Sheriff says inmate commits suicide, investigation underway

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BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- An investigation is underway after the Pender County Sheriff's Office says an inmate committed suicide this morning in the county's jail.

At about 1:42 a.m., an officer making rounds found Damien Billy Manley, 21, of Rocky Point, who the Sheriff's Office says had tried to kill himself. The jail officers on duty started medical care on Manley and called for EMS. Medical workers pronounced Manley dead on the scene at about 2:30 a.m.

Manley had been in the jail since July 24 on charges of first degree burglary, assault on a child under 12 and criminal contempt. He was under a $60,000 bond.

Because the death occurred while the inmate was in custody, the State Jail Inspectors Office was notified
of the death, and Sheriff Carson Smith asked the State Bureau of Investigation to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. An internal investigation is also underway.

Sheriff Smith says preliminary indications are that the jail officers on duty followed state rules, Sheriff's Office procedures and medical staff guidance in their classification and monitoring of the inmate.

The Sheriff's Office did not provide the cause of death.

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i have a son in that jail

i have a son in that jail right now. he was at a state facility 25 minutes away, but was brought there a week ahead of an appeals hearing in his favor. He came from a medical prison, where he was being treated for his psychiatric problems. it was a minimum custody prison where he was in a dorm with other men, had access to nurses, counselors, a doctor, and the maintenance of his medication. he had clothing he bought from the prison, such as underwear, socks, etc. they threw him in a solitary cell with nothing. his sister sent him a letter, which he never got. he begged for help, wrote a grievance to the captain stating with his mental problems he could not handle being so solitary. last night without my knowledge or his wife or anyone else, he was taken to pender hospital because he tried to hang himself. i cannot get any information from neither the hospital nor the jail until monday. i can however, go see him behind glass on a phone for a whole 15 minutes tomorrow. they need to be thankful my son did not die...my heart goes out to this kids familyl...that whole system up there is atrocious.