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Probe Continues Into Leon Co. Jail Inmate, After Initial Results Say He Died From Choking

Leon County Jail

Authorities are investigating the death of a Leon County Jail inmate who appears to have died from choking.

Jail Director John Schmidt says a correctional officer discovered Willie White in distress Wednesday, just after he received breakfast.

“He collapsed after he was eating his breakfast and we were fortunate we had Mr. White in the medical unit because of some previous extensive medical history that he had,” said Schmidt. “We brought medical personnel onto the scene within about a minute, and began CPR and life-saving measures, but were unable to render the aid to keep him alive.”

The 65-year-old has been in custody since April 23rd—on an aggravated battery charge as well as battery on a law enforcement officer. Schmidt says in addition to having a lot of physical health issues that required him to be on a ventilator at one point, White also suffered from mental health issues. Schmidt says while the investigation is ongoing, he can confidently say no foul play is suspected.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.