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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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