MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 6, 2013

Tahlequah police look into death of inmate

Investigators contact OSBI; think death likely a suicide

Detectives with the Tahlequah Police Department are investing a death that occurred in the city jail Thursday.

Tahlequah Police Department spokesman Brad Robertson said Shawn L. Branham, 44, of Tahlequah was booked into the city jail Thursday night on a public intoxication complaint, as well as a hold for a Cherokee County warrant.

Robertson said Branham was found on the floor during a jail check. Officers and jailers found a seam from the mattress around his neck and the intercom speaker.

Branham was taken to Tahlequah City Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Robertson said investigators believed the death was a suicide, but that a full investigation would be done by the department, who had also contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for assistance.  

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will perform the autopsy, Robertson said. The full medical examiner’s report is not expected for several months. The Oklahoma Jail Inspections Office was contacted as well, Roberston said.  

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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