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Inmate found hanging from bunk

12-1-2007 Florida:

ORANGE COUNTY - -An Orange County Jail inmate committed suicide early Friday while awaiting transfer to prison, a jail spokesman said.

Robert Lee Stafford II, 50, was found at about 1:20 a.m., hanged with a bedsheet tied to his bunk, jail spokesman Allen Moore said. Corrections officers dialed 911 and tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office and jail officials are investigating. Moore said workers saw no signs Stafford would try to kill himself.

Stafford was in protective custody because he was arrested on child-molestation charges. He was the sole person assigned to his cell. He pleaded guilty Wednesday in Orange County Circuit Court to one count of lewd or lascivious battery and was sentenced to eight years in prison and seven years of sex-offender probation.

Stafford was to be transferred to the state Department of Corrections' Central Florida Reception Center to be assigned to a state prison. He had been in jail for a year. ..more.. by Robyn Shelton, Bianca Prieto, Katie Fretland, Sarah Langbein, Ludmilla Lelis, Denise-Marie Balona and Willoughby Mariano of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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