A Newton County inmate hanged himself in the county jail Monday afternoon.


Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland reported that Justin David Gordon, 30, of Joplin committed suicide in his cell. Time of death was estimated at about 1:25 p.m.


“Mr. Gordon was here on a theft charge, he’s been here since the 14th (Feb.),” stated Ken Copeland, sheriff. “The inmates, about 1:30, pressed the emergency button, said he had hung himself and called for the guards. Went in and he had hung himself in his cell.”


Copeland said Gordon hung himself with a brown sheet used for bedding in the jail.


“He twisted it up into like a rope deal and put in around the bunk, and around his neck,” the sheriff explained. “It’s not like you can hang from the ceiling, you’ve got to just kneel down and go limp to do it, so he had to be committed to do it. He was in the cell all by himself, nobody in there. We’ve got it all on film.”


Copeland said an autopsy is scheduled in Springfield today.