September 7, 2018 10:45:43 AM
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Lowndes County Sheriff's Office are investigating the death of an inmate at Lowndes County Adult Detention Center.
Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant confirmed the Thursday morning death of Johnny Payne, 56, of 3579 Jess Lyons Road. According to a LCSO press release, Payne was found unresponsive in his cell and taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle where he was pronounced dead. Merchant said Payne died at about 11 a.m.
Deputies called MBI to investigate Payne's death as is standard procedure, the press release said. Merchant said that though he has not made an official ruling, it appears Payne's death was suicide by hanging.
Payne was arrested Sunday for alleged possession of methamphetamine, according to jail records.
Merchant said Payne's family has been notified of his death.
MBI spokesperson Warren Strain did not return a call from The Dispatch by press time.