News and Tribune

July 30, 2013

Floyd County Sheriff: Staff followed proper procedure despite inmate’s death

Indiana State Police investigation ongoing

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said his department did its “due diligence” in its handling of an inmate who hung himself Saturday.

Tony Pedigo, 33, Scottsburg, was discovered about 9:40 a.m. Saturday by a cellmate who was returning from the shower. Pedigo was a federal inmate being housed in Floyd County.

Mills said his department has completed its investigation. He also contacted the Indiana State Police to investigate the matter, and Sgt. Jerry Goodin with ISP said Tuesday it will probably be another six weeks until the final autopsy results are completed by the Louisville Medical Examiner’s Office. After the incident Saturday, Goodin said “the cause of death is consistent with hanging injuries.” He also said signs of foul play were not immediately apparent.

“He used some of his personal items that we issue [uniform] to make a restraint and hung himself. When his cellmate came back, 15 or 20 minutes later, that is when he was discovered,” Mills said.

Mills said his department followed procedure and does “everything in its power” to prevent inmates from hurting themselves or others. He said Pedigo was not on suicide watch and was in the general population. Mills also said it’s the second time an inmate has committed suicide in the Floyd County Jail in the six-plus years he has been sheriff.

“It’s unfortunate. This was the third suicide in Floyd County in a week,” Mills said. “Two were at other locations and one just happened to be in the jail. We hate it but we did everything we could do. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

Cameras are set up throughout the jail, but Mills said it’s impossible to watch individuals every second of the day.

“Nothing is 100 percent,” he said.