TBI investigates in-custody death of Bradley County inmate

Staff Photo by Ben Benton / The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is seen Jan. 5.

State investigators are probing the death of an inmate at the Bradley County Jail after he was found unresponsive by correctional officers, according to a statement from the agency.

The inmate was identified as Eric Dewayne Means, 30, of McDonald, Tennessee, state Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Susan Niland said Tuesday in an email. Means was found unresponsive Monday.

Lifesaving efforts were performed by the responding medical and correctional staff, and Means was transported by Bradley County EMS to Tennova Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a statement Monday by Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Allen.

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Means' family has been notified of the death, Allen said.

The TBI is conducting an investigation at the request of the Sheriff's Office, according to Allen. The investigation is ongoing. Allen deferred to the TBI on any other questions.

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Niland said the state agency was asked to investigate Monday by the 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office. The district includes Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties.

Two male inmates were found unresponsive May 26 at the jail in Bradley County. One of the men, Mario Deshun Johnson, 25, of Cleveland, was pronounced dead, and the other inmate, who was not identified, survived, according to authorities.

— Compiled by Ben Benton