Jerry Preyer

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Jerry Preyer
Died June 13, 2006

Jerry Preyer was a mentally ill inmate at the Escambia County Jail who died on June 13, 2006 following an altercation with detention deputies in which he was shocked several times with a Taser stun gun.

Preyer had been arrested on April 27 at a bus stop after claiming to be Jesus and attempting to strangle a man. He was jailed on May 31 after failing to appear in court for his arraignment, at which point he told jail officials that he required medication for schizoid affective disorder. The Lakeview Center faxed a confirmation to the jail shortly thereafter, but it was not reviewed by a physician until June 13.

According to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Preyer had exhibiting strange behavior, including removing his clothes, talking incoherently and drinking from a toilet, and was placed in a restraint chair. He was released from the chair after appearing to calm down, but then began fighting with the officers, five of whom reportedly could not subdue the 5'2", 150 pound Preyer. After being tased at least four times, Preyer began vomiting and was eventually taken to Baptist Hospital, where he died. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrea Minyard conducted an autopsy on June 14 and ruled Preyer's death a homicide.

After a six-hour inquest on March 13, 2007, County Judge Thomas Johnson and the State Attorney's Office announced that criminal charges would not be filed in Preyer's death. In his ruling, Johnson wrote, ""While there may have been some negligence in the transmission of the inmate's medical records, especially mental-health issues, the court does not determine this to be criminal in nature."

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