Family of deceased Chatham Co. inmate demanding answers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family of deceased Chatham Co. inmate demanding answers

Tony White (Source: CCSO) Tony White (Source: CCSO)

UPDATE: 1:14 p.m. Sept. 16, 2016:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations and the Chatham County Coroner have decided to perform an autopsy on Tony White.


The family of 60-year-old Tony White, a Chatham County inmate who died in jail on September 7th, is now demanding an autopsy and seeking answers in his death.

His family and their attorneys tell us the Chatham County Sheriff's Office, GBI and coroner have each denied the ability to order an autopsy.

According to his family, White had diabetes, Hepatitis C, and blood pressure problems that each could have caused his death without proper medical treatment. Their attorneys believe negligence contributed to his death.

"I have no idea what that investigation can possibly reveal if a simple thing like an autopsy is not performed. We know Mr. White is dead. What we don't know is why," said Will Claiborne, White family attorney.

The sheriff's office says all protocol was followed and medical staff had cleared White a week before he died. The attorneys representing the family and the family both have a different stance.

They have a letter with the signatures of more than 30 inmates who say Mr. White was denied medical attention despite begging for it. He died shortly after.

They feel an autopsy is the next important step.

“If he did die of natural causes then we can accept that and we can bury our family. But if he died due to lack of care, then they need change,” said Ronnie White, nephew. 

The GBI is looking into this death. 

The sheriff's office issued the following statement on Thursday:

Our heartfelt sympathy goes to the White family for the passing of their loved one, Tony Anthony White. When we became aware of Mr. White’s passing the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office followed protocol and notified the GBI and the Chatham County Coroner’s Office. Preliminary results indicated that Mr. White passed due to natural causes however the GBI’s investigation is not complete and it would not be proper to comment any further at this time.

This is the first death in the Chatham County Detention Center since Wilcher has been in office.

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