Two Rutherford County inmates die in custody, third hospitalized for overdose

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 15:00:42-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two Rutherford County inmates died while in custody over the weekend. The sheriff's office said a third inmate is currently in the hospital for an overdose.

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said Gage Dalling, 28, and Charles Taiwo, 39, died in unrelated incidents while being treated at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been asked to investigate Dalling's death. The sheriff's office said a detention officer was conducting routine checks of the inmates on Friday morning when Dalling was found unresponsive in his cell. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Then, on Sunday night, Taiwo was found lying on the floor of his cell by a detention officer who was on patrol. A Rutherford County detective investigating Taiwo's death said it appears he fell from his bed. An autopsy has been ordered to determine his cause of death.

TBI agents assisted in the investigation, but the case was handed back to the sheriff's office.

In another incident, the sheriff's office said 37-year-old Ashley McKinzie was brought into booking while waiting to be processed when she overdosed. Deputies immediately administered naloxone before she was taken to the hospital.

The sheriff's office said another inmate who was also waiting to be processed allegedly gave McKinzie an unknown substance, which resulted in an overdose. That inmate, identified as 29-year-old Lanea Moss, has been charged with introduction of contraband into the jail.

“We take the introduction of illegal drugs into the jail very seriously,” Fitzhugh said. “Every new person coming into the jail undergoes searches and scans with state-of-the-art technology. We have seen a noticeable increase in people attempting to bring drugs into the jail here and in jails across the state of Tennessee."

According to the sheriff's office, nine inmates have died while in the custody of the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center since 2006.