Inmate Found Hanged at Jail

An inmate was found hanging in his cell at the Leon County Jail, and Thursday his death was ruled a suicide.

Robert Baker was found dead Wednesday night, and now the sheriff is investigating to be sure corrections officers acted appropriately before and after his death.

Twenty-five-year-old Robert Baker was found hanging in his cell Wednesday evening with a bed sheet around his neck. A spokesman for the Leon County Sheriff's Office says he was alive just 15 minutes earlier.

LT Bruce Gaines said he noticed him missing, "Shortly after feed up when all the inmates in that particular cell block came out to eat, and he didn't come out, and he was checked shortly after that. That's when they discovered him."

Robert Baker has had a history of run-ins with law enforcement and of mental illness. Back in 2002, he was shot by Tallahassee police during an altercation on Capital Medical Boulevard.

He survived the shooting, but doctors said he was bipolar and psychotic, and Baker would spend more than a year in Chattahoochee before being released on probation in September 2005.

Within a month he was back in jail accused of another attack. He was awaiting trial on those charges when he was found dead.

A Sheriff's Department spokesman says Baker was being held in a single person cell. An autopsy confirms death by hanging, but an investigation aims to be sure correctional officers followed all the proper inmate checks and procedures before Baker's death.

"There are two investigations that are conducted simultaneously, an internal investigation to rule out any wrongdoing for staff and also a criminal investigation to make sure there's no criminal charges."

We have tried to reach Baker's attorney for comment with no luck, and we know his mother lives in Tallahassee, but cannot locate her for comment either.


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