GBI investigating death of Chatham County Detention Center inmate

Credit: , Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News

Credit: , Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News

On Friday morning, at about 5:15 a.m., a Chatham County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Unit Officer discovered detainee Lloyd James unresponsive in his cell, according to a CCSO press release. James was transported to Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Region 5 Investigative Office is currently conducting the investigation to determine the cause of James' death.

According to CCSO records, 16 inmates have died at the jail since 2016. Investigations revealed that eight of those deaths were by suicide, three by disease, one by natural causes and one by overdose. James' death is the first in the jail since Maurice Small died on May 5. The investigation of Small's death is pending review with the Chatham County District Attorney.

According to CCSO records, James had been arrested and booked into the jail 25 separate times since 1999.

James had been incarcerated in the jail since Oct. 30, 2021, charged by the Pooler Police Department with burglary in the first degree, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of marijuana, participation in criminal gang activity, disorderly conduct, no proof of insurance, and failure to register vehicle.

Per CCSO protocol, medical staff and officers immediately responded. Emergency Medical Services (EMS), medical staff, and officers attempted lifesaving measures. James’ next of kin has been notified.

Drew Favakeh is the public safety and courts reporter for Savannah Morning News. You can reach him at

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Georgia Bureau of Investigation looking into death of Chatham County Detention Center inmate


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