Friday, October 05, 2007

Roy Atchison Dead; Suicide Suspected

Pensacola Assistant U.S. Attorney Roy Atchison, whose arrest on interstate child sex abuse charges shell-shocked Gulf Breeze, was found "unresponsive" by federal prison officials in Michigan early this morning. Atchison was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital "and was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m., federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Mike Truman said."
“His death appears to be the result of suicide,” Truman said. “A thorough investigation is under way.”
Read the rest of the PNJ story here.

10-05 pm

The Detroit Free Press is reporting in a late on-line edition that Atchison "hanged himself this morning at the federal prison in Milan, where he was taken after trying to commit suicide last month at Sanilac County Jail, authorities said."
Officials said Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., had been housed in solitary confinement and was under close supervision, adding that he had shown no signs of despondency.
* * *
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of John Roy Atchison," his lawyer, James Thomas of Detroit, said today in a statement.

“Our heartfelt regrets go out to his wife and children, his parents and his brothers,” Thomas said. “This is a man who has done a lot of good in his life. Unfortunately, he is going to be judged by his most recent charges and what we have read in the media, and not by the goodness, hard work or by the love of his family."
10-06 am
Abby Goodnough of the New York Times writes that Atchison's Detroit lawyer, James C. Thomas, told her he had unconfirmed information "that Mr. Atchison had hanged himself in the shower."
I think they don’t put somebody in there to watch you when you’re in the shower,” he said. “But you have cameras and people watching you as you’re going in.”

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Prisons, Felicia Ponce, would not provide details of the matter but said Mr. Atchison had been living in a one-person cell in the special housing unit.

Goodnough also quotes Thomas as refusing to comment on Mr. Atchison’s last known state of mind or on whether Atchison claimed to be "wrongly accused."
"We’re not going to talk about that, ever, Mr. Thomas said."

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