Family Questions Man's Alleged Suicide at Prince George's County Jail

The family of a man found dead inside his Prince George's County Detention Center jail cell last March is questioning his alleged suicide.

Mitchell Williams was just 10 days away from a court date that could have led to his freedom, his family said, when he was found hanging inside his jail cell.

A jail official called Williams' death a suicide, though a medical examiner's report is pending.

“His daughter Melanie called me and said that Mitch had died and I couldn’t believe it, and she said he’d been hung and I truly couldn’t believe that,” Williams' ex-wife Bridgette Williams told News4.

“I just didn’t believe that, I know how strong he was. Somebody had to hold him... something... for him to do that. I would never believe he committed suicide, ever.”

In 2008, another Prince George's County inmate was found hanging inside his jail cell, just hours after being arrested for allegedly killing a police officer. Ronnie White's death was initially ruled a homicide, then a suicide, and a correctional officer was sentenced to two years for not reporting the death as soon as it happened.

The manner of death of Samuel Shields, the man who became medically distressed at the same jail last week and later died at a hospital, is also being investigated, and much like Williams, his medical examiner's report is also pending.  

A woman who was at the jail at the time told News4 she witnessed several officers repeatedly beating Shields when he refused to put on his jumpsuit.

Bridgette Williams said she recommends Shields' family orders a new autopsy and hires a lawyer.

“It’s going to keep happening because they’re going to think we don’t care and we do care," she said.

Jail officials said they are withholding comment in Shields and Williams' deaths until an investigation is complete. 

"I refuse to just let this slide by," Williams' daughter Melanie said. "The jail needs to be shut down."

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