Inmate hanging a suicide

March 29, 1994|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Sun Staff Writer

Marvin T. Burkindine, who was found hanged in his cell at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on Sunday, wanted to do his jail time in the infirmary, fellow inmates told county police yesterday.

Instead, he was placed in a solitary cell where he was found dead at 7:23 a.m. He had used the cord from a laundry bag as noose and tied it to the bars on the door, police said.

The state medical examiner yesterday ruled his death a suicide.

Burkindine had been evaluated by Detention Center doctors, who determined that he was not a suicide risk. Therefore, he was not placed on suicide watch, jail Superintendent Richard Baker said.

Police Detective Keith Williams said police found a sealed letter in Burkindine's cell addressed to his girlfriend. In the letter, which was not dated, Burkindine said he had tried to hang himself before and would do it again if he was kept in jail.

Mr. Baker said that he had not heard of those threats and that Burkindine had never done anything that they considered suicidal.

Detective Williams said that some of Burkindine's cellmates reported "his focus was to do easy time in the infirmary."

Burkindine, 40, had been in the Detention Center since Dec. 17. He was awaiting sentencing on charges that included forging prescriptions. He had been placed in a solitary cell because of behavior problems, Mr. Baker said.

On Feb. 24, he threw himself down a flight of steps at the Anne Arundel Circuit Courthouse in Annapolis and was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment before being returned to the jail, police said.

He also injured himself when he punched his fist through a window at the jail infirmary, Mr. Baker said.

He had been moved to several different dormitories at the Detention Center because of difficulties with other inmates before he was put in the single cell last week, Mr. Baker said.

Burkindine was alive when a Detention Center officer checked him at 7 a.m., police said. But at 7:23 a.m., when another officer coming on duty made his rounds, he found Burkindine hanging from the bars on the door, police said.

Detention Center officers and paramedics tried to revive Burkindine, then rushed him to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to court records, Burkindine had a record of prescription drug charges that included obtaining forged prescriptions.

He was to be sentenced April 18 for violating his probation and attempting to forge a prescription, court records show.

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