Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton has asked the Arkansas State Police to assume the investigation into the injury of an inmate at the Hempstead County Detention Center who was found hanging in a holding cell Monday afternoon.
Singleton said Tuesday that he could not comment directly concerning the probe since it is now in the hands of the ASP.
“I asked them to come in and handle the investigation; and Corwin Battle and Hayes McWhorter have been assigned to it,” he said.
The investigation centers around Cedric Deangelo Williams, 30, of Van Buren, who was arrested Monday afternoon by Hope Police Department officers in connection with allegations of residential burglary and two counts of third degree battery.
Singleton said that Williams was booked into the county jail sometime between 2-3 p.m. Monday.
“Upon arrival at the detention center, booking desk officers unhandcuffed Williams and he attacked another person waiting to be booked into the detention center,” Singleton said. “Williams was placed into a holding cell in the booking area.”
He said that Williams was under detention center surveillance while in the holding cell, when about 5:15 p.m., he was discovered hanging by his neck.
“A detention officer working the control room noticed Williams with a sheet around his neck and notified other detention officers, who immediately came to Williams' aid,” Singleton said. “Detention officers responded immediately and began CPR. Pafford EMS arrived and transported him to Wadley Regional Medical Center at Hope, where he remains in critical condition.”
Hope Police Chief J. R. Wilson said this morning that Williams was arrested in connection with a break-in at a residence on Monday afternoon about 2 p.m. Wilson said officers were called to the residence at 315 W. Avenue D, where Williams was arrested as he attempted to walk away from the scene.
“He allegedly forced open a door of the residence, and after gaining entrance to the home, he began fighting with one of the residents,” Wilson said. “We were called and when police arrived, Mr. Williams was walking away and he was pointed out by the persons who met with the officers.”
Wilson said Williams claimed that his girlfriend was inside the residence. Wilson said no other arrests were made in connection with the incident, and Williams was transported to the county detention center.
Williams remained in the local hospital Wednesday, but information concerning his status was not available.