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Roanoke jail inmate charged in sex attack dies in bedsheet hanging

7-14-2011 Virginia:

A Roanoke City Jail inmate awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault and robbery apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet Wednesday, the city sheriff's office said.

James Early St. Clair, 52, was declared dead in his jail cell after deputies found him hanging from the sheet and unresponsive at 4:55 p.m., Patricia Johnson, spokeswoman for the sheriff, said in a statement. Attempts by jail staff to revive St. Clair failed, Johnson said.

The death was an "apparent suicide," Johnson said.

St. Clair had been jailed without bail since June 17, when he was accused of groping and yelling at an 18-year-old woman walking with two male friends in front of the Roanoke City Market building on a Friday night. The woman's friends grabbed St. Clair and held him for police after the attack, police said.

Court records show St. Clair was transient with no permanent address. ..Source.. by Roanoke Times

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