Inmate death

Pike County Coroner Percy Pittman talks with grieving family members of John Gill. Gill was found dead in a holding cell after being booked sometime last night.

An autopsy and toxicology tests will be conducted Monday on a man found dead in a Pike County jail cell on Saturday, said Coroner Percy Pittman.

John Wayne Gill, 39, 1113 Old Liberty Road, McComb, was discovered at 10 a.m. and pronounced dead at 11:20, Pittman said.

Sheriff Mark Shepherd said deputies had arrested Gill around 1 a.m. Saturday at 1023 Haygood Circle on a charge of disorderly conduct and brought him to the jail.

Shepherd did not know the details of the incident that prompted the arrest.

Shepherd said Gill was “disruptive” at the jail and was placed in a cell. When he was brought out later to be booked he continued to be combative.

“He became belligerent with the officers and they had to physically take him back to the cell again, where one of the officers had a slight injury,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd said officers had to use pepper spray on Gill, who was then cleaned up and placed in a cell by himself.

Family members were present at the jail to bond Gill out when “he was found in his cell unresponsive and deceased,” Shepherd said.

Pittman said there was no obvious cause of death. Chief deputy Steve Rushing said Gill was “slumped over.”

Shepherd notified the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting an independent investigation.

“I’ve spoken with the family at my office today. That was hard. My heart goes out to them. You don’t ever want this to happen anywhere,” Shepherd said Saturday.

“It’s very sad, and my prayers are with the family. I told them that and that I will do everything in my power to find out what the cause could be,” he said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.