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GBI begins criminal investigation, awaits autopsy in YDC death

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The Georgia Bureau of Investiga­tion has begun a criminal investigation into Tuesday’s death of an inmate at Augusta Youth Develop­ment Campus.



Autopsy results determining what killed 19-year-old Jade Holder could be released today.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Assistant Special Agent in Charge Pat Morgan said agents were called in to investigate after Hold­er was seriously injured in his cell in Unit 43 around 9 p.m. Mon­day.

Unit 43 holds 15 to 20 inmates, who are housed in one-man cells, according to Morgan.

“Due to the injury at the time, (YDC) called and requested us to come in,” Morgan said. “It’s totally up to them when they want us to come but I guess due to the severity and the kid having to go directly to the hospital, they thought it best for us to go ahead and come in.”

Holder was pronounced dead at 3:20 p.m. Tuesday after being de­­clared brain dead at Medical Col­lege of Georgia, according to Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten.

Detailed injuries are not being released until the completion of the autopsy at the GBI Crime Lab in Augusta.

“There are rumors spreading about having people in custody, but no­body has been arrested and no charges have been filed,” Morgan said.

He would not comment on whether there are any suspects.

Holder, of Sylvester, Ga., was serv­ing a three-year stint and had been transported from Dodge County to the Augusta facility.

Emily Gest, a spokeswoman for the Department of Juvenile Justice, declined to give Holder’s criminal history citing that juvenile records remain sealed even after death.

The GBI investigation is purely criminal. Any investigation involving policy and procedures will have to be done by the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Gest would not comment Wednesday morning on the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.

She released a statement Tuesday from the department that said: “Should there be any evidence of staff or youth misconduct or criminal activity, DJJ will take all appropriate measures, including referrals for criminal prosecution. Additional precautionary measures are being used to ensure the safety for the youth and staff.”

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office also issued a statement regarding the incident:

“The state will fully investigate this alleged crime and report back on the facts, but initial reports are disturbing. A new commissioner will take over Department of Juvenile Justice next week, and I will work with her to take swift and urgent action in this case. Beyond the ongoing investigation, we need to take corrective action to prevent similar travesties from occurring in the future. My heart goes out to the victim and his family.”

According to a Monday press release, current commissioner, Amy Howell, will move into a role as general counsel at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. She was appointed in January 2011 and was the first female commissioner at the department.

Gale Buckner, who currently serves on the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, will move into the new position as commissioner, according to the press release.

The Augusta campus has a history of problems. In 2004, the YDC was closed for four months when the Attorney General’s Office advised that a private company take control of the campus.

The recommendation came after numerous accounts of discord between black and white employes, assaults on the youth, suicide gestures and the resignation of a director after seven months on the job.

The private company did not take ownership and the facility was reopened by the state.

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boomhauer
650
Points
boomhauer 11/09/11 - 10:49 am
0
0
@ deerkiller...That's a good
Unpublished

@ deerkiller...That's a good point.

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 11/09/11 - 11:07 am
0
0
deerkiller - it depends.

deerkiller - it depends. People can be in DOJJ custody up to age 21. It depends on what they are serving time for. If you were convicted - say at age 16 - for an offense that you could not have been tried as an adult for, you could stay in a YDC until 21.

BamaMan
2637
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BamaMan 11/09/11 - 11:23 am
0
0
"there are rumors about

"there are rumors about people being in custody" ???? Aren't they already IN custody?????

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/09/11 - 11:48 am
0
0
It would be interesting to

It would be interesting to see how this case evolves - if at all. JJS/YDC folks seem cover up a lot of things.

barbrail
0
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barbrail 11/09/11 - 11:58 am
0
0
As far as a 19 yr old being

As far as a 19 yr old being at the facility. DJJ can hold a juvenile until their 21st birthday if they were ajudacted as a minor only when a juvenile is tried and convicted as an adult with DOC pick them up when they turn 17. This is a horrible thing that has happened and all individuals involved should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 11/09/11 - 12:18 pm
0
0
Does anyone have any

Does anyone have any information as to why this young man was in the JDC or whether or not he lived in this area? Seems as if the original report would have given that information but I guess the rush to get it into the public omitted those crucial bits of information.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 11/09/11 - 12:52 pm
0
0
CoastalDawg...the first story

CoastalDawg...the first story gives more info on the man who was murdered...
http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/crime-courts/2011-11-08/augusta-youth-...

Sweet son
11083
Points
Sweet son 11/09/11 - 02:03 pm
0
0
I bet the DJJ doesn't call

I bet the DJJ doesn't call them inmates! Probably a 'fluffy' title because they are only juveniles!

Ushouldnthave
0
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Ushouldnthave 11/09/11 - 02:09 pm
0
0
Sweet son, they are

Sweet son, they are "students" on the "campus". They don't commit crimes, they commit delinquent acts. Fluffy.

Peach29
0
Points
Peach29 11/09/11 - 02:21 pm
0
0
@ Patty-P yes, alot of things

@ Patty-P yes, alot of things goes on at those facilities that are brushed under the rug/ overlooked. I guess they will not be able to brush this one under huh? truth will be revealed!

moou
0
Points
moou 11/09/11 - 03:05 pm
0
0
I wish people would try to

I wish people would try to get some of the facts right. This is a YDC - Youth Development Campus. Long-term facility for youth who have been committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice. The RYDC is a Regional Youth Detention Center - short term for youth who are awaiting court or a placement. No, they are not called "inmates". They are students because it is a fully accredited school. If they are incarcerated as juveniles, they do all of their time in a juvenile facility. As for what goes on there, people need to stop the conjecture. Yes, it is a prison. No, they are not treated like adults. There are laws and regulations and policies that clearly state what can and cannot be done in this facility. There are cameras in all housing units, mostly to observe staff behavior. It's not wonder the staff who work there feel they are not trusted. Seems everyone is ready to pounce on them when something bad happens - without all the facts. Why does the news media put half the information out there? It's unlikely the general public will ever know the whole story, mostly because they stop listening once they see something that suggests the staff might possibly be to blame. I miss the days when people were presumed innocent until proven guilty...

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/09/11 - 05:30 pm
0
0
This is the third death of an

This is the third death of an 'inmate' in a facility in Augusta in several months.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 11/09/11 - 07:12 pm
0
0
Is the Augusta Youth

Is the Augusta Youth Development Center "an asylum run by its inmates?" Bring in an investigatory team from the USDOJ's Office of Civil Rights Enforcement to find out- that is, if the GDJJ really wants Us, the People, to know.

JRC2024
9946
Points
JRC2024 11/10/11 - 11:00 pm
0
0
I would hate to know my

I would hate to know my diploma came from YDC. Not something to bragg about.

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