Man Found Dead in Durham Jail Cell Identified as James Earl Staton Jr. | News

Man Found Dead in Durham Jail Cell Identified as James Earl Staton Jr.


The Durham County Sheriff's Office has identified a forty-year-old man who died in jail custody on Sunday as James Earl Staton Jr.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Staton was last seen alive by jail staff at 4:21 p.m. He was found unresponsive twenty-three minutes later.

An autopsy is being conducted by the state medical examiner, but the Sheriff's Office says "preliminary findings suggest Staton died of natural causes."

Staton's death is the second at the jail this year and the fifth since the start of 2015. In March, seventeen-year-old Uniece Glebe Fennel was found hang in her cell. A state investigation found jail staff had not heeded a report from another Inmate that Fennel had spoken about harming herself.

Staton had been held at the jail since June 15 on a robbery charge.

In response to the news of Staton's death, a protest is being held tonight at six.

According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office: "Colonel Anthony Prignano, the detention services director, met with inmates in Staton's housing unit on Sunday evening. At Col. Prignano's request, a grief counselor was made available for the detainees. No additional details are available at this time to protect the privacy of the decedent and his family as well as the integrity of the investigation.”

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