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Jail Hanging Follow-Up

By: Christina Vitale
By: Christina Vitale

Friends of James Michael Kinsaul, the man who was found hanging from a bunk bed in his jail cell on Saturday, have spoken out.

Gilbert Miller, Kinsaul's closest friend, said, "His life was good. I didn't see any reason that he would just hang himself."

Gilbert Miller says Kinsaul was happy. He was engaged to be married and his work as a plumber was going well, but Miller says Kinsaul had a business dispute with Brian Mitchel, the Havana Police Chief.

Miller said, "I'm not sure what the exact price was. It was around $2,500 and the chief only gave him around $1,500. He still owed him a thousand dollars."

Friends of Kinsaul say they think the dispute is why Kinsaul vandalized the police chief’s car, which led to his arrest on Saturday morning. That was the same day the body of Kinsaul was found.

We made efforts to contact Chief Mitchel, but he has not responded. One resident says she has known Kinsaul for a long time and he was still working on her house.

Betsy Doll, a friend of Kinsaul, said, "He has always lived around the Havana area. He has been town plumber. He was a really nice guy. He was hard working and very dedicated to what he did."

Many residents say they're wondering why a man so likable would take his own life. Miller has a question for authorities.

Miller said, "How could they just leave him in there with his belt?"

The only response from authorities when asked that same question was that they had no indication that Kinsaul had any suicidal thoughts, and that is why the belt was not taken away.

The autopsy was performed Sunday morning, but the results have not yet been released.


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