Charles Whitley attempted suicide cell less than 48 hours before Timothy Brokes Jr. committed suicide
A Marion County Jail inmate who was found unresponsive after attempting suicide on Tuesday, May 15, has died.
Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn confirmed Charles Whitley, 50, of Hannibal, died at Blessing Hospital. Whitley's death marked the second suicide at the facility in 48 hours. The previous suicide at the jail occurred in 2014.
Jail personnel found Whitley hanging in his cell around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 15. The personnel released Whitley and performed CPR and were successful in returning a pulse. He remained unresponsive as he was treated first at Hannibal Regional, then at Blessing.
The body of Timothy Brokes, Jr., was discovered around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, May 17. Brokes and Whitley were in neighboring cells and were able to communicate with one another, Shinn said a press conference on Friday, May 18. Whitley and Brokes were being held in individual cells, which are used for disciplinary or behavioral issues, instead of commingled in the general jail population.
It is unclear when Whitley died. A death notice from a Hannibal-area funeral home indicates Whitley died at 4 p.m. Thursday, prior to Brokes' death. Shinn, on Friday, said Whitley was alive, but unresponsive.
Shinn told the Courier-Post that family members of Whitley informed the sheriff that Whitley had died on Saturday.
Family members told Shinn that Whitley was an organ donor and that four people had received his organs.
Whitley was in the Marion County Jail awaiting the outcome of two different domestic assault charges — one from October 2017 and the other from February 2018. He was scheduled to appear for a plea or trial setting hearing related to the case in Palmyra on Monday, May 21.
Brokes was facing a number of charges from a January 2016 crime spree in Hannibal and Monroe City that resulted in the death of Brittany Gauch and injuries to her husband, Aaron Gauch, and Monroe City police officer Travis Pugh.
Shinn said professional support would be available for staff if they need it. Additionally, Shinn said Friday that jail personnel would review protocol for checking inmates. By procedure, inmates are checked every hour and each cell is equipped with a camera. Staff members also receive crisis intervention training.
“My staff does an excellent at preventing and stopping a lot of suicides that may happen at the jail through their intervention,” Shinn said.
An autopsy for Brokes will take place on Monday in Columbia.