Investigation underway after inmate found dead in Tunica County

Inmate found dead in jail cell

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tunica County Sheriff's Office is investigating after an inmate died inside a Tunica County correctional facility.

Donnie Clay, 37, was found dead in his cell Wednesday morning. Deputies said Clay died just 30 minutes after being admitted.

Clay's family said they are calling for an independent investigation.

"I feel awful, because I want justice for my son," Clay's mother Maggie Clay said.

Maggie wants to know how her son died inside a jail cell.

Deputies said Donnie Clay was arrested early Wednesday morning for aggravated domestic assault. He was later found dead in his cell, but deputies did not release the cause of death, citing policies that keep them from releasing information during open investigations.

Clay's mother, however, said deputies told her the cause. She said they claimed her son hanged himself.

Maggie said deputies knew her son had issues.

"He's schizophrenic. You have to watch him, because he will do something to himself," she said.

Donnie's brother Issac Clay said there should not be this many questions.

"We just want justice for him, and they're not telling us everything," he said.

Clay's cousin Tennille Stiff said Clay was a loving father.

"Someone's going to have to answer the negligence that happened here," Stiff said.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is now overseeing the case.

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