Carter County Sheriff's Department investigating death of jail inmate

John Thompson • Apr 29, 2020 at 9:35 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a prisoner in the Carter County jail. 

Rickey Joe Lee Younce, 65, was found dead in a holding cell in the jail at 3:40 a.m. Wednesday. Deputy jailers immediately notified the Carter County Rescue Squad and attempted life-saving measures, but they were unable to resuscitate Younce.

According to a sheriff’s department press release on the incident, Younce had been arrested on a charge of public intoxication. Due to his level of impairment, the departmental press release said deputies placed him in a holding cell until he became more sober.

Deputy jailers made routine checks on Younce and noted that he was becoming less intoxicated over the next few hours. He was then found able to be brought out of his cell to begin the booking process, including fingerprinting and being photographed. Deputy jailers then placed him back in his cell. When they returned, Younce was found unresponsive.

Younce’s body has been sent for an autopsy and toxicology testing to determine the cause of death. Investigators do not suspect any foul play at this time.