Update: 9:36 pm ET (March 3, 2020) — Tyler Perry took to social media with an update on his nephew’s death. “I spoke with Dr. Michael Baden today after he finished the autopsy on my nephew. I was relieved to hear that he is 98% sure that there was no foul play in his death, jut as Sheriff Gates stated,” Perry revealed last Friday (Feb. 28). “Answers don’t take away grief, but they surely give room for grieving to take its course.”
Original story below…
Tyler Perry has hired a medical examiner to perform a second autopsy on his nephew’s remains after the 26 year old was found dead inside his cell at Louisiana’s Union Parish Detention Center earlier in the week. Gavin Porter’s death was reported as a suicide but Perry and his family don’t believe that he took his own life.
Porter was serving 20 years for manslaughter after fatally shooting his father in front of his mother, Perry’s sister, over a “senseless argument,” the writer-director wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Feb. 27).
“The murder shook our entire family,” Perry shared. “Despite his horrible act, before he went to prison I went to see him in the local jail. I assured him that we all still loved him, but it was important to all of us, including his mother, that he was punished for this horrific crime that he committed. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“Call me naive, but it was my hope that after serving his time, and really reflecting and showing much remorse and asking God for forgiveness, that he would have been able to come to work for me, joining all the other former inmates who work for me and turn his life around just as they have. But that day will never come.”
Officials told the family that Porter was placed in solitary confinement last weekend following a fight with other inmates.
“Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison,” Perry continued. “I say allegedly because, unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong.”
Perry hired former New York City medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, who investigated JFK’s assassination, testified at the O.J. Simpson trial, and performed independent autopsies on Mike Brown and Aaron Hernandez, among others. The result of Porter’s second autopsy are expected “soon,” according to Perry.
The prison requested an investigation into Porter’s death and the alleged fight that occurred prior to his passing. “We respect the family’s right to request another autopsy to be done. This is not an unusual request.We are continuing our investigation and awaiting autopsy results,” a rep for the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office told TMZ in a statement.
Union Parish Detention Center has made headlines before over its treatment of inmates. In 2018, the prison settled a discrimination complaint for placing a detainee in segregation for six months because he was HIV positive. The following year, two prison guards were arrested for beating an inmate that complained about not getting a lunch tray. Another guard was fired and charged with malfeasance in office and simple battery for attacking an inmate “who was causing a disturbance” from his cell.
Read Perry’s full statement below.
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