MARION COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has launched an investigation into the death of an inmate inside the Marion County Jail.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office told Channel 9 that the inmate stopped breathing while detention deputies were trying to subdue him late last week.
The sheriff’s office said that 46-year-old Scott Whitley was in a special holding cell at the time of this death.
According to deputies, Whitley had to be moved away from other inmates because he tried to escape his cell and housing unit at the jail and had been aggressive with the detention staff.
On Friday, detention deputies clashed with Whitley when they said he was refusing to cooperate with a routine cell inspection and refusing to allow deputies to handcuff him.
Deputies said a foam pepper spray and a Taser didn’t work on Whitley who is listed as 6-foot-2, 325 pounds.
It took six deputies to subdue him and get him out of the cell, and that’s when deputies noticed he wasn’t breathing.
Whitley later died at the hospital.
Whitley had been in jail for a little over a week on charges of resisting with violence and for violating an injunction by his own parents.
Court records show that Whitley had been living in his parents’ house and had recently become hostile and aggressive, causing them to leave their home, out of concern for their safety.
When deputies showed up at the home because he violated the injunction, deputies said Whitley told them, “This is my house, I’m not leaving and I’ll kill you.”
According to deputies, the encounter at the home was similar to the jail encounter - deputies said a chemical spray and the Taser didn’t work initially.
FDLE is now investigating the incident and looking to determine what exactly happened and how Whitley died.
The deputies involved are out on paid suspension during the investigation, as per department policy.
Once the investigation is complete, FDLE will give its report on the incident to the state attorney’s office to determine whether there was any wrongdoing leading to his death.
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