DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. –AJ Richman, the lawyer for the family of the man found dead in the Dawson County Detention Center on June 2 issued a statement today (June 18) regarding the death of 18-year-old Jonathan Sanford.
Richman said his law office has started its own investigation to determine whether jail personnel failures contributed to his death. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting a parallel investigation.
“Georgia’s sheriffs are responsible for every aspect of a detainee’s health and welfare,” said Richman. “Our local government needs to be transparent, and we are calling upon the sheriff to share with us how Jonathan died in their custody.”
Richman said in the 18 days since Sanford died, his parents have not been told what caused their son’s death, which prompted their own investigation.
Sanford’s father said earlier this week that Sheriff Jeff Johnson had not spoken to the family since their son’s death.
The family held a demonstration on the city square earlier this week and demanded Johnson’s resignation. Johnson has not returned our phone calls requesting his comment.
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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – The 18-year-old inmate found dead in his cell at the Dawson County Detention Center this morning (June 2) has been identified as Jonathan Sanford of Dawsonville.
The cause of death has not been confirmed at this time.
Sources tell Fetch Your News that Sanford was arrested Monday on a charge of DUI and was found unresponsive at approximately 6:30 a.m. today. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation.
This is the second time in 14 months that an inmate died in the detention center. On April 10, 2019, 57-year-old Joseph Michael Bishop was found unresponsive in his cell.
Fetch Your News has reached out to Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson for comment.
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