Clarke County inmate Darion Gordon jumped over the fifth-floor railing while being escorted from the courtroom to the inmate elevators in the Clarke County Courthouse on Feb. 8, 2019, according to an internal investigation case report received through an open records request submitted by The Red & Black.
The report comes months after Clarke County Chief Superior Court Judge Patrick Haggard told The Red & Black, improved inmate passageways could have prevented the attempted suicide. A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) 2020 project proposal to construct a new courthouse seeks to address such security problems.
The courthouse renovation proposal was not included in the SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee’s final list of recommended projects to the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission.
Gordon fell to the second floor of the atrium and sustained injuries to his head and left leg, according to the report.
He had been charged with several felony charges, according to Athens-Clarke County Superior Court records.
According to the report, Corporal Glenn Cliver was escorting Gordon and another inmate when he walked past Gordon while looking down at some papers. Cliver and Corporal Dan Henson, who was standing nearby, realized Gordon was walking away unescorted. Both officers ran toward Gordon, and Henson is said to have yelled “Don’t do it” before he leaned over the railing and jumped, before either officer could get to him.
Other officers monitored Gordon until an ambulance arrived at the scene.
“Cliver was negligent while escorting Inmate Gordon due to him not being attentive and being careless during the escorting procedure,” Corporal Lisa Gabriel of the internal investigation unit said in the report’s findings.