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Cayce Lynn Allen
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Jail inmate kills herself

By ROBERT LEE LONG/Community Editor

Published: Saturday, August 11, 2007 12:00 AM CDT

HERNANDO - A 27-year-old female inmate at the DeSoto County jail died early Wednesday as the result of an apparent suicide, DeSoto County Coroner Jeff Pounders said Friday.

Pounders said Cayce Allen, 27, Hernando, died from asphyxiation by ligature hanging after using a leather bracelet tied to her shoelaces in order to strangle herself. Pounders said Allen tied the bracelet to a fire sprinkler head and used her shoelaces to cut off circulation around her neck.

He said Allen was found less than 15 feet from the booking desk in a holding cell around 3:19 a.m.

Allen was initially picked up by Hernando Police on a charge of driving under the influence and other minor traffic violations at approximately 2:04 a.m.

Less than an hour later she was dead, according to Pounders. No foul play is suspected.

"She had a leather strap bracelet on and took the bracelet off," Pounders said. "There was a fire sprinkler head seven or eight feet high. It was kind of recessed on the side of the wall but she was able to unscrew the cap, stand on her tip-toes and place it to where it hung on the sprinkler head." The sprinkler heads are made to pop out of the wall in case of a fire, according to Pounders.

Pounders said Allen apparently tied her shoelaces to the bracelet affixed to the sprinkler head and then wrapped the shoelaces around her neck. Blood flow was restricted. Pounders said, typically, in cases like this, people lose consciousness between 10 and 15 seconds.

Allen's death is the second suicide involving a jail inmate this year and the third death of a jail inmate in 2007, according to Pounders. Nakema Fox, 30, an inmate awaiting transfer to a state mental hospital, died from a blood clot May 28.

Inmate Brian Wooten, 27, died last month at The Regional Medical Center in Memphis after losing massive amounts of blood from self-inflicted cut wounds. He suffered cardiac arrest in an ambulance bound for a Memphis hospital approximately an hour later.

DeSoto County Sheriff's Department Chief Steve Atkinson said Allen's death remains under investigation.

"At this point, I would say her death was surprising," Atkinson said, indicating that Allen had given no indication she was suicidal. "The investigators are still investigating it. It's been turned over to the state."

Robert Lee Long can be contacted at or at (662) 429-NEWS, Ext. 252.


[Wrongful death lawsuit]

[Death info]

[Death at jail investigated]

[Speck et al v. DeSoto County, Mississippi et al]

[Family sues county]

Added by: CHANDLER

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