Medical Examiner completes investigation of DeKalb County jail inmate deaths

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.

Now, the DeKalb County Medical Examiner has released its findings about the death of both inmates.

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 Medical Examiner ruled that Colman’s death was natural, caused by “peritonitis due to intestinal perforations.”

The other inmate also died of natural causes, the Medical Examiner ruled.

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.

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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