Suicide suspected in latest Fulton County Jail death, sheriff's office says

The death of a Fulton County Jail inmate on April 10, 2024, is the facility's third in 2024 and 28th over nearly two years. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

Another person has died while in custody at the Fulton County Jail, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office confirmed Wednesday.

The 20-year-old’s preliminary cause of death is believed to be suicide.

According to the sheriff’s office, Travis Landrey, of Louisiana, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Rice Street jail Wednesday morning. Jail and medical staff allegedly tried to save his life but were unsuccessful.

The Atlanta Police Department is investigating, and the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy.

Online records show Landrey was in jail for the 2022 shooting death of 57-year-old Christopher Eberhart in Buckhead.

It’s unclear if his trial moved forward as scheduled in March. Initially, he pleaded not guilty to the alleged crime.

Landrey’s death is the third that has been reported at the beleaguered facility this year, bringing the total to 28 since 2022.

Just last week, 37-year-old Leonard Fortner was stabbed to death by another detainee who made a knife using scrap metal from around the jail.

Fortner had been held without bond for four months over criminal damage to property.

Police have charged Edward Cherry, 36, with murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony in connection to the incident.

Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, who is up for re-election, says the jail is in crisis.

“It’s beyond time that the members of the [Fulton County Board of Commission] understand this and take note of the dangerous circumstances,” Labat said at a news conference last week. “Circumstances of which I have been yelling from the rooftop since taking office Jan. 1, 2021. It is time that we prioritize human lives.”

State and federal investigations into the jail’s conditions are ongoing, and commissioners have yet to say whether they will move forward with the sheriff’s request to build a bigger and more expensive jail that could cost between $1.7 billion to $2 billion.

Commissioners are currently reviewing the alleged mismanagement of public money by the sheriff’s office, including the Inmate Welfare Fund.