WALTERS A 50-year-old Devol man awaiting trial for murder in January was found dead in his Cotton County Jail cell Thursday morning.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation believes that, based on early information, David Allen Daniel took his own life with a ligature made of underwear less than a week before his scheduled preliminary court hearing.
Daniel was found by a trusty who was serving breakfast around 4:30 a.m., said Richard Goss, Southwest Oklahoma Agent in Charge for the OSBI. The plate slot through the cell door was blocked and the trusty immediately got a jailer who called emergency dispatcher, Goss said, and Walters Police and EMTs arrived soon after.
"They confirmed he was inside his cell up against the door," Goss said. "They forced it open and saw that he'd tied a ligature made out of what appears to be his underwear and he hung himself from the doorknob."
"They had to cut it (ligature) to be able to get in there," he said.
Daniel was declared dead at the scene, Goss said. His body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner for autopsy.
The OSBI was called in to investigate by the Cotton County Sheriff's Department and were on scene by around 7 a.m., Goss said. Investigators spent Thursday at the jail reviewing security video and processing the crime scene, he said. Daniel hanged himself in, what the agent called, a "blind corner" of the cell but review of the video showed he was writing something on a notepad prior to moving out of video range. No suicide note was immediately recovered, but Goss said that there's no indication at this point that Daniel's death was "anything other than a suicide."
"There's a lot of paperwork, reading and writing materials, in his cell," Goss said. "We'll continue to go through that."
Daniel has been in an isolated cell since January. He was scheduled to have his preliminary hearing on a first-degree murder charge next Tuesday, according to court records, and his trial was slated for April.