Investigation underway of apparent hanging in Clay Co. jail

Local News

CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — An investigation is underway into the apparent hanging of a Clay County inmate about two weeks ago.

According to a report posted on the website of a Dallas law firm which specializes in police and jailer misconduct cases, Byers resident Scott Allen Payne, 46, was found dead by another inmate on Sept. 28.

The custodial death report cited by the law firm states that Payne had been deceased for several hours.

It states the last known movement of Payne was about 17 hours earlier through a video recording.

It also states Payne had made suicidal statements and exhibited mental health problems.

Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons said he can not comment on specifics of this case while it is under investigation by the Texas Rangers, but he said the post on the law firm’s site does not accurately portray the events, timeline of the death or the inmate’s mental status.

Lemons said the facts will come out after the Texas Ranger files a report.

Payne was booked into jail on Aug. 1. He was arrested on a warrant from Washington state alleging he had fled there after committing rape of a child and child molestation.

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