Police respond to attempted suicide by death row inmate

Arkansas police said Friday a death row inmate whose execution was halted last year was taken to the hospital after prison officials told investigators he had attempted suicide.

An Arkansas State Police spokesman said investigators responded Thursday afternoon to a report of an attempted suicide by convicted murderer Don Davis. State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Davis, 55, had been taken to an area hospital with unspecified injuries.

"There had been a conversation between Davis and a correctional officer that led to other personnel being summoned to the cell area. As these individuals began to communicate with Davis, he produced what was reported to be a razor blade and he put it to his throat," Sadler said.

Investigators found a note that was believed to be written by Davis in the inmate's cell, Sadler said. Sadler said the incident is not being investigated by State Police because the agency doesn't investigate attempted suicides.

Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves said Davis was being treated at an outside hospital Friday. The agency would only confirm that security and medical staff responded to an incident involving Davis. Graves declined to release any further details, citing state law and department policy limiting what information can be released about inmates.

Graves said the department was investigating but that no officers had been put on leave or suspended.

Security rounds are conducted twice an hour, no more than 40 minutes apart, on death row, with searches of the inmates, their property and their living areas conducted as often as deemed necessary, Graves said. He said the searches are never conducted for purposes of harassment or punishment.

Davis was convicted in 1992 of killing Jane Daniel after breaking into her Rogers home in 1990 and shooting her with a .44-caliber revolver he found there.

He was one of eight inmates Arkansas planned to execute over an 11-day period last year. His execution and three others were halted by court rulings. Arkansas ultimately put four inmates to death. Arkansas scheduled the executions before its supply of midazolam , a sedative used in the lethal injection process, expired. Arkansas has since found a new supply of midazolam, but is lacking another of the three drugs it uses for executions.


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