Mississippi inmate who had been charged with murder found dead in jail cell

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, April 29, 2021

An inmate being held on murder charges was found dead in a Mississippi jail cell Monday night.

The Southern Sentinel reports that a fellow inmate discovered John Stacy “Cooter” Wacaser, 52, of Ripley, was hanging by a T-shirt in his cell at the Tippah County Jail Monday night.

Jail staff and one of the inmates performed CPR on Wacaser but were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive Wacaser.

Officials say they do not suspect foul play in the incident. Wacaser’s body is being sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.¬†The case has been turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators said they believe that Wacaser had been planning his suicide for some time. No suicide note had reportedly been found. Inmates were reportedly out of their cells for recreational activities at the time of the incident, leaving Wacaser alone in his cell.

Wacaser was indicted by the grand jury earlier this month for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Dectrick Sorrell “Red” McDonald, 42, of Ripley. The shooting occurred Monday, Feb. 22, in the White Oak Community on County Road 549. Wacaser was being held at the jail on a $250,000 bond.