Inmate hangs himself in cell

An inmate in jail for theft at the Columbia County Detention Center died Friday after hanging himself in his cell.

Robert Douglas Sudduth, 24, of Cary Lane in Washington, Ga., died in his cell at about 5 p.m. Friday, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

Sudduth, who was in medical isolation, used a bed sheet to hang himself, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said.

"They were bringing in the food carts, and they had asked all the inmates to come out and take a seat at the table," she said. "Two of the inmates that went by saw him hanging."

Garrison said she didn't know the exact time it took for jailers to find Sudduth but indicated that he had not been dead very long.

Morris said the death is under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

Sudduth was at the jail awaiting court after his May arrest in which he was charged with theft by receiving stolen property, Morris said.

According to a Columbia County police report, deputies were called to Circle K at 3934 Washington Road on May 13 in reference to a suspicious person. They found Sudduth sitting in the driver's seat of a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado that was reported stolen in Elbert County.

Though Sudduth lived in Washington, Ga., Garrison said his stepfather, with whom he was close, lived in Thomson.

Sudduth had attempted suicide when he was younger, Garrison said.

"He's still somebody's son," she said. "His mother is just devastated."

Sudduth is the second Columbia County inmate to die at the jail since April.

John Wayne Siple, 44, of Evans, died April 5 after he was found collapsed in the shower as he prepared to leave for a hospital evaluation. Siple was pronounced death at Doctors Hospital.

Reach Jenna Martin at (706) 868-1222, ext. 109 or jenna.martin@augustachronicle.com.