DeKalb jail inmate died of natural causes; investigation of other inmate death continues

DeKalb County Jail. Photo by Dean Hesse.

DeKalb County, GA — In July, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reported two inmate deaths in the span of a week.

The DeKalb Medical Examiner determined one of those inmates died from natural causes. The cause of death for the other inmate hasn’t been released yet.

Officials at the Sheriff’s Office found Vernon Dennis Head, 48, unresponsive in his cell on July 22. He was pronounced dead following an unsuccessful emergency medical treatment. He’d been in the jail since January 2021 after being accused of making terroristic threats.

“The cause of death is listed as myocardial fibrosis and the manner is natural,” the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

On July 25, the Sheriff’s Office reported the death of 55-year-old Decatur resident Nina Maureen Colman, who died in the infirmary. She had been in custody since July 19, 2022, and is accused of stalking, criminal trespass and simple battery. The incidents are unrelated.

The Colman case is still pending, the Medical Examiner’s Office said.

According to press releases received from the Sheriff’s Office, there have been at least 10 deaths reported at the jail since 2015. This is the only instance where two inmates died within days of each other, according to the press releases reviewed by the Tucker Observer.

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