Four People Have Died In Past Month In Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail

A 34-year-old man who was being held at the problem-plagued Fulton County jail in Atlanta died after he was taken to a hospital. The man is the fourth person to die in Fulton County custody in the last month. 

Samuel Lawrence, 34, who was being held on a second-degree arson charge, was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 4:20 pm on Saturday and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that the Atlanta Police Department would be conducting an investigation into the death and the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office will “perform an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.”

Lawrence is the fourth inmate to die within a month, the Associated Press reported. The other three people were Alexander Hawkins, 66; Christopher Smith, 34; and Montay Stinson, 40.

The U.S. Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the conditions of the Fulton County jail following the death of 35-year-old Lashawn Thompson last year. 

Thompson had been arrested on June 12, 2022, for a misdemeanor simple battery charge. He was sent to Fulton County Jail and placed in the psychiatric wing for mental health issues. Three months later, on September 19, Thompson “was found dead in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs,” according to family attorney Michael Harper.

Thompson’s family was awarded a mediated settlement of $4 million by Georgia’s Fulton County Board of Commissioners as a result of the incident.

D & B Staff

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Episode 112