A Gaston County sex offender has died after he was found hanging in his jail cell last week, less than three hours after his arrest.
John William Gluth Jr., 44, was charged June 7 for failing to report his new Gastonia address to the Sheriff's Department. He was given a $250,000 bond.
He didn't live to see his first court appearance.
"He was found hanging in his cell," said Darrell Griffin, assistant chief of the Gaston County Sheriff's Office. "He was unresponsive and not breathing."
Gluth died Friday at CaroMont Regional Medical Center.
Gluth went to his cell, alone, at 11:49 a.m. that day while other inmates congregated in a common area. A deputy doing routine checks found Gluth at 12:19 p.m., unresponsive and not breathing with a bed sheet tightened around his neck, Griffin said.
Gluth is the first Gaston County Jail inmate to commit suicide this year, Griffin said.
A man attempted to kill himself by jumping off a second-floor rail in May. Griffin said that man is still alive.
There was no camera in Gluth's cell, and he was not on a suicide watch list.
"We don't have cameras inside these cells. We have them in the cell blocks," Griffin said. "For a normal cell block, you would do two rounds per hour."
A registered sex offender
Gluth was 21 in 1993 when he was convicted in York County, S.C., of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. Being convicted of the crime means a person touched or attempted to touch a child under age 16 for the purpose of gratification.
Gluth had multiple arrests in the years preceding his death.
In March 2013, while living in Union County, Gluth was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender and given three years probation. In April he was arrested in Mecklenburg County, charged with a felony probation violation and given a $10,000 bond.
Never made it to court
Jail officials do not suspect foul play, although an investigation into Gluth's death continues. Jail staff constantly looks at ways to ensure the safety of inmates, Griffin said.
"We look and discuss with other jails on how they do their jobs," he said. "We're always looking for ways to improve and do things better. Like any other incident, we're looking at this one to see if there's anything we can do." ..Source.. by