Prison inmate commits suicide

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

LEBANON — A Sidney inmate in the Lebanon Correctional Institution committed suicide in his cell, Friday, Nov. 24.

Jeremy Brookhart, 43, had served five and a half years of a 36-year sentence for six counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual battery of victims under the age of 12.

According to prison Warden Thomas Schweitzer, Brookhart hanged himself from his bedpost, using his bed sheet.

It was soon after dinner had been served and trays had been cleared from cells, between the checks by prison guards who made rounds every half hour, that Brookhart killed himself. His cellmate was asleep, Schweitzer told the Sidney Daily News, Friday, Dec. 1.

The cellmate woke up, found Brookhart, untied him and laid him on the floor and then began to kick the cell door to get the attention of officers.

A medical emergency was called at 6:08 p.m. Prison officers, supervisors and nurses on the prison medical staff responded as did emergency medical technicians from the Turtle Creek Emergency Center. They administered CPR and used an automated external defrillator for an extended period of time, but got no response.

They then called the Atrium Medical Center, and a doctor proclaimed Brookhart dead at 6:42 p.m.

“He did have a history of mental health issues,” Schweitzer said.

Brookhart began serving his sentence, May 1, 2012, following sentencing in April of that year in the Shelby County Common Pleas Court.

He had originally been charged with rape, as well as two counts of gross sexual imposition and five counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. He pled guilty in February 2012. He had registered as a Tier III sex offender. The Sidney Daily News reported in April 2012 that his victims were seven girls, all under the age of 12. He had been accused of sexual contact with a 6-year-old in 2011.

At the time of his sentencing, the judge in the case called for the maximum penalty because, the judge said, Brookhart had showed no remorse.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.