Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office investigating inmate’s death


Freedom New Mexico

Slightly more than 4 1/2 hours after he was in court Monday facing felony child abuse charges, Darrell Lewis of Clovis was found hanging by the neck in his cell at the Roosevelt County jail, County Manager Charlene Hardin said Thursday.

Lewis, 22, died Tuesday at a Lubbock Hospital in what she believes was a suicide.

The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death.

According to Hardin, Lewis was found hanging from his bunk with a white cloth wrapped around his neck 35 minutes after he was last seen alive by detention center staff at 4:50 p.m., when he was served dinner.

Hardin said detention center staff discovered Lewis unresponsive at 5:35 p.m. after returning to pick up his food tray.

Lewis was taken to Roosevelt General Hospital and later flown to University Medical Center in Lubbock about 9:30 Monday night, Hardin said.

Lewis was arraigned in Portales Magistrate Court about 1 p.m. Monday on a felony child abuse charge and a misdemeanor obstruction charge by Judge Linda Short.

“We’re not aware of any history of suicide,” Hardin said. “He did not indicate that he had ever attempted suicide nor did he indicate that he had any intention of doing so.”

“It appears to me that he didn’t cause any type of problems whatsoever and from what I’m reading and what I’m seeing it appears that he was fine,” Hardin said.