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Jefferson Sheriff Defends Deputies In Jail Deaths

Jefferson Sheriff Defends Deputies In Jail Deaths

CREATED Apr 19, 2014

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig said deputies did nothing wrong in the three inmate deaths at the county jail since January.

WVLT-TV reports McCoig held a press conference on Friday to discuss the deaths. He said his deputies tried to save the lives of the deceased inmates. McCoig also claimed that a lawsuit by the widow of one of the inmates was meant an attack on him because it is election season.

McCoig said he has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into the deaths.

Donna Free has sued the county over the death of her husband, Jeffrey Free. She claims jail staff knew her husband was suicidal but left him unsupervised. He was found hanged in his cell.

Free's attorney said the lawsuit is not political.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)