Lancaster County first responders investigate inmate death

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Lancaster County Coroner is investigating an inmate death at the Lancaster County Detention Center.

The sheriff’s office says around 7 PM on the night of Sunday, August 13th, 44 year-old inmate James Richard Horton was discovered unresponsive on his bed in his cell, which he shared with two other inmates.

The report says aid was immediately was given.

The report went on to say the inmates were not locked in their cells at the time Horton was discovered and he did not appear to have any physical injuries when he was found and nothing suggested he had been assaulted.

Below is the full release from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 7:00 p. m. Sunday, August 13, 2023, Lancaster County Detention Center inmate James Richard Horton, age 44, was discovered unresponsive on his bed in his cell, which he shared with two other inmates.  Corrections personnel immediately began providing emergency aid to Mr. Horton as Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel were summoned.  EMS had just left the detention center on an unrelated matter and quickly returned.  EMS personnel treated Mr. Horton and transported him to a medical facility where he was admitted for treatment.  Mr. Horton remained under hospital care until he died at approximately 11:00 a. m. today, August 17.

 At the time Mr. Horton was discovered, inmates were being temporarily moved out of individual cells within the 12-cell cell block for routine cleaning of the cells.  Unless inmates are locked in their cells, they are free to move about the common areas of the cell block.  Inmates were not locked in their cells when Mr. Horton was discovered.  No other inmates reported to corrections staff that Mr. Horton was experiencing a medical emergency.  Mr. Horton did not appear to have any physical injuries when he was discovered, and nothing suggested he had been assaulted.

All inmates were moved out of the cell block, and it was secured.  Sheriff Barry Faile and Major Matt Shaw responded to the detention center shortly after Mr. Horton was found.  Because of the apparent seriousness of Mr. Horton’s condition, Sheriff Faile requested that the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) dispatch agents to investigate the circumstances of Mr. Horton’s condition.  SLED field agents and crime scene agents responded Sunday night and began their investigation, which is continuing.

 The cause of Mr. Horton’s medical condition is unknown.  An autopsy is being scheduled by the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office.  The circumstances surrounding Mr. Horton’s death will be investigated by SLED and the coroner’s office.

  “Our prayers and condolences are extended to Mr. Horton’s family and friends,” said Sheriff Faile.  “We want to know what produced Mr. Horton’s medical condition.  Since this incident occurred in our facility, we requested that SLED conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and we will cooperate fully with the investigation.   We trust that SLED and the coroner will be able to provide answers when their investigations are complete.”           

Anyone with information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-3388 and select Option 4 or submit a tip in one of the following ways:  use the link or download the P3Tips mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices.  Crime tips may be made anonymously.

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