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Community reacts after inmate found dead in Morgan County Jail

The 24-year-old was found unresponsive in his bunk, officials say.

Posted: Jun 15, 2019 4:39 PM
Updated: Jun 17, 2019 9:56 AM


We’re hearing how a Morgan County inmate’s death affected an entire community.

Jock Taylor, Jr. was pronounced dead about 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Decatur-Morgan Hospital, after another inmate found him unresponsive in the jail just an hour earlier.

WAAY 31 learned what families of other inmates are saying about the man's sudden and tragic death.

“That was someone’s child," Phyllis Stone said about the inmate who died.

Phyllis Stone has a grandson in the Morgan County Jail. She went to visit him on Sunday, because she couldn’t on Saturday.

That’s because the jail was on lockdown after inmate, Jock Taylor, Jr., was found unresponsive. It's something, sadly, Stone told WAAY 31 she wasn’t surprised to hear.

“I wasn’t really shocked,” she said.

Another person who went to visit his fiancé at the jail on Sunday told WAAY 31 he couldn’t get in touch with her all day Saturday. It wasn’t until he was in bed Saturday night that he learned why.

“I heard the news come on and it said an inmate was dead at the Morgan County Jail. Immediately, I woke up, because I didn’t know who it was," Jerry Kelley said. "It just automatically scared me.”

Jerry Kelley said he was worried sick until he got a phone call.

“She said, ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t call you. The phone’s been on lockdown because some guy died in D-pod.’ That’s all she knew," Kelley said.

Phyllis Stone says these kinds of things happen far too often.

“I lost a good friend in the jail in Florence," she said.

We sill don't know why Taylor died, but Stone said she wonders if Taylor’s death could’ve been prevented.

“They’re not treated like humans," Stone said. "If he had been tended to and watched like he should have been, they could’ve spotted signs. I could’ve seen that something was wrong with him and got him out of there.”

After this incident, Stone told WAAY 31 she believes more corrections officers should be hired and inmates should be monitored more closely.

“His life is important, just like ours are," she said.

It's still unclear what the cause of Taylor’s death was, but as soon as we have those details, we’ll be sure to update you here.


The Morgan County Sheriff's Officer released a timeline of events: 

2:33 Inmates notify officer
2:34 Officer initiates medical code
2:39 Jail on lockdown
2:40 Inmate remains unresponsive, 911 called
3:17 Sheriff Notified, review begins
3:21 At hospital
3:34 Death pronounced
3:50 Family notified
4:14 Media notified
6:38 Alabama Bureau of Investigation arrives

Update: The inmate was identified as Jock Jabbar Taylor Jr.

A Morgan County Jail inmate was found unresponsive. According to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office Twitter, CPR was rendered as they were transported to Decatur Morgan Hospital. Sheriff Puckett and members of the Command staff are on scene. ABI has been notified. The tweet added, more details to come. 

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