The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has reported a new death in the county’s High Point jail.
The announcement, which followed right on the heels of the announcement of another inmate death this week, reveals a strange set of coincidences regarding the two deaths.
According to the new death announcement from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, Richard David Landry – a white male, age 62, of Elkin, NC – passed away at the High Point Medical Center at just after 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23. The department reports that the death was “as the result of an underlying medical condition.”
It also states that Landry was treated by Wake Forest Baptist Health but did not survive.
According to an earlier announcement by the Sheriff’s Department, Jeffery Lynn Johnson – a 61-year-old white male resident of Greensboro – died in the county’s jail in Greensboro at about 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23.
Though the two individual press releases didn’t make the connection, the jail staff had the highly unusual circumstance of dealing with two deaths of two white males, both in their early 60s, at almost the same time on the same day. The two men were also charged with similar crimes, shared the same birth month just days apart, and both died from existing medical conditions.
One law enforcement source called it, “Just a weird situation.”
The two deaths happened just one day before the Sheriff’s Department saw a big protest over the death of another inmate who passed away in jail in 2018 and also, sadly, comes in the wake of three suicides in Guilford County’s two jails since 2019.
Landry was originally arrested over a year ago and placed into the custody of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department in May of 2019. He was charged with four counts of indecent liberties with a child, two counts of first degree statutory rape and two counts of first degree statutory sex offense with a $360,000 secure bond.
In early March, due to Landry’s serious underlying medical conditions, he was transferred to the hospital facilities at Central Prison pursuant to a safekeeping order. Then, in order to attend a court hearing for his criminal charges, Landry was returned – from Central Prison to the county’s High Point jail – on Monday, June 22, around lunchtime. There, he was placed in the High Point Detention Center’s medical housing unit due to his health issues.
According to a press release from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department: “He was found unresponsive in his cell on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at approximately 3:08 a.m. Prior to that time, all security rounds had been performed by the Detention Staff in accordance with State standards. Upon finding Mr. Landry in an unresponsive condition, the Detention and Medical staff rendered immediate first aid to Mr. Landry and transported him via ambulance to the High Point Medical Center where Mr. Landry passed away later that morning at approximately 9:32 a.m. His next of kin were promptly notified by the Sheriff’s Office and at least one Family member arrived at the hospital prior to Mr. Landry’s death.”
This incident is under investigation, however, according to the Sheriff’s Department, Landry’s death appears to be “due to natural causes resulting from his underlying medical issues.”
The department states that, until that investigation is complete, no additional information will be provided.