Outside agencies called to investigate inmate death; name released.

September 25, 2014

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Undersheriffs from Oceana and Newaygo counties have been called into assist with the investigation of the apparent suicide death of Timothy Stamp at the Mason County Jail Tuesday afternoon.

Stamp had been in the Mason County Jail since Sept. 18 when he was arrested by Ludington Police Department on a parole violation, according to Ludington Police Capt. Mike Harrie. While he had not yet been arraigned, he was facing charges of perjury and being a habitual offender. Harrie said there were two counts of perjury: Falsely swearing a statement in front of a deputy county clerk on a matter in which an oath was required, stemming from filing a personal protection order, a 15-year felony; and also falsely reporting a home invasion second degree, a 4-year felony.

Sheriff Kim Cole said Mason County detectives have documented the scene and an autopsy was performed Wednesday. “I’ve asked Oceana and Newaygo to provide their undersheriffs to provide us with an outside look at the incident,” Cole said. “Once they complete their investigation, the report will be forwarded to the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office, which is standard procedure in any situation of this magnitude.”

Cole said Stamp had requested and was assigned to a maximum security cell. “Mr. Stamp was housed by himself. Our maximum security cells also serve as handicap cells. Mr. Stamp had some physical limitations and had requested to be placed in one of these cells.”

Initial dispatch reports indicated that Stamp had hung himself. Cole said he would not comment on that until he had a chance to speak with the family. However, a press release issued Wednesday stated that the cause of death appeared to be a suicide.

There is no video coverage of the incident.

“We do have security cameras in place around our jail but sadly they do not capture every square inch of the jail,” Cole said. “We do have video footage of our correctional deputies performing life saving procedures on Mr. Stamp. These people are to be commended for their actions. Every day our correctional deputies risk their own personal safety to assure that the inmates and the public are kept safe. They are true professionals.

“A jail is a microcosm of society. Sadly, the issues that people face in society are also faced inside a jail. We take considerable measures to make sure our inmates our safe, but there are times when deaths like this are going to occur.