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Inmate Death Being Investigated as Apparent Suicide

Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Lori Benoit
Contact Email:
July 8, 2019
Inmate Death Being Investigated as Apparent Suicide


FORSYTH, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is investigating the death of an inmate at Hancock State Prison in Sparta, Ga., as an apparent suicide.

On July 7, at approximately 4:40 p.m., Correctional Officers found inmate Gerald Florence, Jr. (GDC#1065177) unresponsive in his cell.  Emergency Medical Services were called and life saving measures were performed.  Florence was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased at approximately 7:45 p.m.  GDC is conducting an investigation into the death, as standard procedure. 

Florence was sentenced in Troup County to Life without Parole for Murder, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault and False Imprisonment.


About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit

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