Caldwell County jail inmate Jason Eugene Braswell hangs self, in critical condition

Family says Braswell was suicidal, should not have been left alone
Jan. 22, 2013 @ 06:39 PM

A Caldwell County Detention Center inmate hanged himself with a bedsheet Saturday afternoon and was reported to be on life support Tuesday evening at Carolinas Medical Center, officials said.

Jason Eugene Braswell, 34, of Lenoir was arrested Jan. 16, along with Jennifer Gilbert Watson, and charged with several felonies, including possession of stolen goods, misdemeanor larceny and numerous drug charges. Capt. Marc Jardon of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said Braswell tied a sheet around his neck between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Saturday and asphyxiated himself. After he was found slumped in his cell, jail staff began CPR and called 911. Braswell was taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital and then to Carolinas Medical Center.

“This wasn’t a classic case of hanging, like from a ceiling,” Jardon said. “We don’t have anything in the cell he can dangle from.”

Jardon thinks Braswell may have tied the sheet to a bunk bed and extended his feet out in front of himself to hang limp and tighten the makeshift noose.

Carolyn Gibson, Braswell’s cousin, said Braswell's father has been by his bedside since the incident. Gibson said she was told that Braswell had expressed suicidal thoughts to jailers, and she questions why he was still placed in a regular cell rather than put where he could be better monitored.

“He was homeless, addicted to pills and depressed,” she said. “His life started fading. He went from someone who had something to nobody. But he was a good person.”

Jardon was not available for comment on Gibson's questions.

The N.C. Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident.