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LIVINGSTON — An inmate involved in an altercation in which two deputies were injured Sunday night in the Livingston Parish jail died inside the jail that night, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Monday afternoon.
Chief Criminal Deputy Jason Ard said preliminary information indicates that inmate Darrin Norton’s death was not related to the altercation, but the parish coroner said it is too early to determine the cause of Norton’s death.
Norton, 35, 30545 Milton Road in Denham Springs, had been booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on Saturday on counts of aggravated criminal damages to property, criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. He was pronounced dead at the detention center.
Dr. Ron Coe, the parish coroner, said that no coroner’s report has been issued and it is too early to determine the inmate’s cause of death.
He said he wants to hold off on a ruling until all tests come back and said he doesn’t want to speculate on whether the death could have been related to the altercation.
“I don’t think you can say at this point” what caused the death, Coe said Monday afternoon.
The corner declined to comment on whether the body showed any cuts or bruises.
He said the death occurred about 9 p.m.
State Police are assisting the Sheriff’s Office in the investigation, according to Lt. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman.
Ard said deputies were attempting to move Norton to a padded cell for his safety when the altercation occurred.
He said Norton had been in another cell “where he was on suicide watch.”
Jail personnel were attempting to move him to the padded cell after he “displayed unusual behavior,” Ard said.
During the move Norton became violent and at least two deputies were hurt before Norton could be restrained, the chief deputy said.
The injuries to the two deputies weren’t life threatening, but they were taken to a hospital, Ard said.
He said one suffered head injuries and the other suffered a broken ankle.
Ard declined to identify the deputies other than to say that they are correctional officers who work in the jail.
Lab results are pending in the case, according to Ard, who said detectives from the Sheriff’s Office and State Police are investigating Norton’s death.