Smith County inmate found hanging in cell hours before sentencin - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith County inmate found hanging in cell hours before sentencing

Kerry Deon Winston (Source: Smith County Jail) Kerry Deon Winston (Source: Smith County Jail)
According to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, 42-year-old Kerry Deon Winston was found hanging in his jail cell at 3:53 a.m. Friday morning.

A Smith County Detention Officer found Winston and contacted EMS. Jail personnel administered CPR to him prior to EMS arrival at the jail. Winston was alive at the time he was found but unresponsive.

Winston was transported by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 4:26 a.m. Smith County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 Jamie Cowart has ordered an autopsy.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a note was left by Winston, outlining his intentions to take his life. No previous reports from Winston or his cell mates indicated that he had discussed his intentions before acting. He was not on suicide watch at the time the incident occurred.

Winston was arrested March 6 for aggravated sexual assault of a child and was being held in the Smith County Jail on $500,000 bond. He was set to enter a plea and receive sentencing Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.

His family has been notified.

An investigation regarding this incident is underway and is being conducted by the Texas Rangers with the assistance of the Smith County Sheriff's Office crime scene unit. The investigation will review the situation to ensure the proper procedures were followed.

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