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Questions raised in alleged inmate suicide

April 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Family members and friends of 22-year-old John Horton are questioning the circumstances surrounding his reported suicide in the Men's Central Jail in downtown L.A. two weeks ago.Jail officials said they found Horton hanging from a noose in his cell on March 30. He had been incarcerated for a month on a drug related charge, and was in solitary confinement when he died.

Horton's family and their supporters gathered outside the jail, where they displayed a photograph of Horton's face, taken after his death. They said it shows visible scars, bruises and a puncture wound.

"I want to know how he got these scars on his head. That's what I want to know. I want answers," said Helen Jones, mother of Horton.

She said she also wants to know why she was repeatedly refused permission to see her son for 30 days prior to his death.

"We want to make sure that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth comes out," said Eddie Jones of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association.

L.A. County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told ABC7 that the investigation is still under way, despite early indications that Horton's death was a suicide. He says that once the investigation is completed, it will be known exactly what happened.