Suicide attempt at jailhouse

A Boone County inmate was still conscious after an apparent overdose.
Friday, January 23, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:36 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Officials at the Boone County Jail are investigating how an inmate managed to take a large amount of prescribed medication in an apparent suicide attempt early Thursday morning.

Officers conducting floor checks found Lucille Duncan slumped over in her cell at about 4:15 a.m.

Her neck had been wrapped in a “Saran Wrap material,” which officers quickly removed, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Duncan was still conscious and able to indicate that she had taken a large amount of prescribed medication, said the sheriff’s department.

Duncan was treated at University Hospital before being transferred to the Biggs Treatment Center in Fulton for psychological evaluation.

The jail’s warden, Maj. Warren Brewer, declined to comment on what medication Duncan may have taken or how much. All inmates are searched for contraband, such as medications, upon arrival at the county jail, Brewer said. Any prescription medication is verified with doctors by the sheriff’s department.

Jail staff distributes prescription medications to inmates, Brewer said. “Generally, it is a single dose, but there are some circumstances where it may be more,” he said.

The investigation, Brewer said, will determine “if there was human error or was this person just good at ‘palming’ medicine.”

Duncan and her brother, Gerald Duncan, are scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 24 in the July shooting death of James Pruitt, Lucille Duncan’s former boyfriend.

His body was found July 5. Police said Gerald Duncan was sitting in the back seat of Lucille Duncan’s car when he shot Pruitt, a passenger in the front seat, in the head.

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