Clay inmate charged with killing fellow inmate

 

Cameron Henderson

Cameron Henderson

 

 

Dispatch Staff Reports

 

 

An inmate in the Clay County Jail has been arrested for allegedly killing another. 

 

Cameron Henderson, 20, has been charged with first degree murder in the death of Dale Jerome O'Neal, 54, Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said. Henderson allegedly strangled O'Neal to death last week while the two inmates were both in a misdemeanor cell in the jail overnight. 

 

O'Neal was found unresponsive in the cell Friday morning, and Clay County Coroner Alvin Carter pronounced him dead on the scene. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the death.  

 

Scott said Carter received preliminary autopsy results late Monday which ruled the death a homicide by strangulation. Investigators then arrested Henderson, who Scott said was the only person in the cell with O'Neal. 

 

The sheriff said a motive for O'Neal's death is unclear. 

 

O'Neal had been arrested March 8 on a failure to appear bench warrant and a trespassing charge and Henderson was arrested March 13 for shoplifting less than $500 and disturbing the peace, according to Clay County Jail records. Scott said it is jail policy for suspects accused of misdemeanor crimes, such as those O'Neal and Henderson were charged with, to be kept separate from suspects charged with violent felonies, who have their own cells. 

 

"You don't put them in the back with hardened criminals, in other words," Scott said. 

 

He added jail staff had talked to the two inmates the night before and that neither of them reported any problems.  

 

Henderson was denied bond during his arraignment in Clay County Justice Court Tuesday. Scott said he has been transferred to another detention facility for his own safety.

 

 

 

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