Man dies in custody at Lee County Jail; LCSO and NAACP host press conference

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

On Sept. 8, Carl Harper died while behind bars in the Lee County Jail. Harper was arrested after his wife called 911 and said he was on drugs—molly, specifically—and he was found on his bed with a gun near him.

Sheriff Marceno said at a press conference that Harper never resisted deputies when they arrested him. However, once he was in jail, he became confrontational and aggressive.

Harper refused to be processed and also refused to go to his first appearance.

Deputies went to move Harper to a different housing location and he continued to resist, going so far as to kick deputies. Eventually, he calmed down and they removed the handcuffs that he had on.

Marceno said Harper took that as an opportunity to attack and spit on deputies. And that’s when deputies put Harper in a restraining chair with medical staff present.

Then suddenly, Harper began to show signs of a medical emergency which ended with him dying.

“Due to medical complications the inmate died while being treated by advanced medical care of nurses, EMS, and anyone that arrived to assist,” Marceno said. “Detectives with our major crimes unit responded to investigate; at this time, there are no signs of trauma or foul play.”

“She could have had that one last time to tell him she loves him. She didn’t get that opportunity. She didn’t get that opportunity and she doesn’t deserve that. She’s only 14,” said Jasmine Hunter Boston, the mother of Harper’s child.

While talking with deputies, Harper’s wife said that Harper was going to kill their dog, everyone in the house, and himself. Nevertheless, Harper’s family says this was no way for him to go.

A press conference regarding an in-custody death was held with Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and representatives from the Lee County NAACP.

The press conference began at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday and took place at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters.

Watch the press conference in the player below or click here.

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