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Payne County Jail inmate hangs himself with a blanket

Updated:
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Payne County officials find a jail inmate hanged in his cell.

Sheriff Carl Hiner says the death of 45-year-old Richard Eugene Speece was the first apparent suicide by hanging at the facility since the 1970s.

Hiner says the Stillwater man, who was being held on drug charges, had tied a strip of blanket to his cell bars.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Willie Thornton says the jailer had gone by the cell 30 or 35 minutes before he was found, when other prisoners had talked to him.

Thornton says Speece's body was discovered in his locked cell about 10PM Sunday by three other inmates who were in a common area and were able to see him.

Thornton says Speece had requested to be placed in a cell by himself because he didn't want to deal with other inmates.

He says there was no indication Speece was depressed or suicidal.
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