Man convicted of murder hangs himself at jail He was awaiting prison assignment

September 21, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

CECIL COUNTY — A Port Deposit-area man sentenced last week to life in prison without parole for the shotgun murders of his wife and 8-year-old daughter hanged himself Sunday at a Baltimore jail facility where he was awaiting his prison assignment, correctional officials said.

Daniel Floyd Hanby, 37, hanged himself with a bedsheet shortly before 5 p.m. in a cell he occupied alone at the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center, said Cpl. J. Scott McCauley, a state prisons spokesman.

Correctional officers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Hanby and "got a slight pulse," but he was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. after being taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Corporal McCauley said.

Hanby, like all new prisoners, had been assigned to the classification center in the 500 block of E. Madison St. for a routine evaluation, after which he would have been sent to a maximum-security prison.

An investigation has begun, but the death is being termed a suicide, Corporal McCauley said.

Hanby, who had a history of chronic depression and alcohol dependency that psychologists testified contributed to his decision to kill his family, was not in a suicide-watch area. He had shot himself in the stomach the night of the murders.

Hanby "was cooperative and showed no signs of distress" after being taken into custody, and a mental health evaluation by doctors indicated that he was "nonsuicidal," Corporal McCauley said.

The inmate had been prescribed medication to help cope with his depression and had not shown any suicidal symptoms while in custody, correctional officials said.

Hanby was sentenced Friday in Cecil County Circuit Court to two life terms without parole for killing his wife, Penney Jackson Hanby, 32, and their daughter, Deanna Lynn.

Prosecutors said Hanby bought a 12-gauge shotgun Dec. 31 and used it four days later to kill his wife and daughter.

Hanby, who had a history of domestic violence, was unwilling to accept his wife's wish to divorce him, prosecutors said.

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