LIVINGSTON — An inmate who died Sunday in the Livingston Parish Jail after an altercation with deputies had been arrested Saturday evening after he allegedly threw rocks through the windows of a neighbor’s house, according to the arrest report.
One of the rocks went through the window of a room occupied by two small children, the report says.
A deputy used a stun gun to subdue Darrin Norton, 35, as Norton resisted while authorities were trying to arrest him after the rock-throwing incident, the report states.
Later, during a medical interview upon admittance to jail, Norton named several people he wanted to kill, including his physician, as well as Sheriff Willie Graves and Chief Judge Bob Morrison, of the 21st Judicial District Court, according to the report.
Norton, initially placed in a cell on suicide watch, was being moved the following night to a padded cell when the dispute with deputies broke out, Chief Criminal Deputy Jason Ard said Tuesday.
The medical staff had requested that he be moved to the padded cell, Ard said.
Ard added that he believes the request to move Norton to the padded cell was made by a nurse. Ard said he did not believe Norton had been seen by a physician at the jail.
Deputies used chemical spray during the altercation with Norton, Ard said. Ard added that he did not know if the inmate actually was hit by any of the spray.
“I haven’t seen anything that indicates a policy has been broken or that the deputies acted out of line,” said Ard, who, along with jail Warden Tim Brown, was attending a National Sheriff’s Association training session in Nashville on Tuesday.
Ard, elected Oct. 22 to a four-year term as Livingston Parish sheriff, assumes office after Graves’ term ends June 30.
Brown said Tuesday that Norton’s death is the first one to occur in the Livingston Parish Detention Center, which opened in 2009.
The ability to view the activities of prisoners in the new facility has helped to prevent problems, Brown said.
He said all inmates who are considered at risk of committing suicide are evaluated by the jail’s medical staff.
The warden said two deputies who were injured during the altercation had been treated and released from a hospital.
The Sheriff’s Office has not made public the names of the deputies involved in the incident with Norton other than to say they both are corrections officers.
Ard said that when all of the available information on the case is gathered, he would evaluate the actions of the deputies and the jail’s policies.
The Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office, State Police and the Sheriff’s Office are investigating the inmate’s death, Ard said.
The Livingston Parish coroner, Dr. Ron Coe, said he was awaiting the results of laboratory tests and had not yet issued a report or determined a cause of death in Norton’s case.
“No cause of manner of death has been ruled in or out,” Coe said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon. “This is an open investigation within the Coroner’s Office and no further details will be released until the investigation is completed.”
Authorities said the death occurred around 9 p.m. Sunday and that Norton’s body lay outside of the padded cell.
Ard said deputies were attempting to move Norton to the padded cell for his own safety when the prisoner became violent.
Authorities said Norton was booked into the jail Saturday on counts of aggravated criminal damage to property, criminal trespassing and resisting arrest after the incident in which he threw rocks at the home and car of a neighbor.
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