NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A criminal investigation is underway into the death of a Nashville man who was being held in a Missouri jail.
Tory Sanders, 28, was taken into custody Friday night in Mississippi County, Missouri, and while in custody, he died.
His family called News 2 over the weekend asking us to look into his death. They said he had a history of depression and went on a drive to clear his head last week.
He reportedly got lost on his way to Memphis and wound up in Missouri. While the details are limited, Sanders ended up in jail.
According to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, Sanders was involved in two altercations with jail personnel while in his cell.
One of those altercations, Hawley says, was at the direction of Sheriff Cory Hutcheson.
On Tuesday, General Hawley asked that Hutcheson be removed from his position. The following day on Wednesday, the court granted his request.
“Cory Hutcheson was present in the jail and giving orders to jail personnel despite the fact that his license as a law enforcement official had been suspended nearly a month before,” Hawley told News 2.
Hutcheson had his sheriff’s license suspended after he was charged with robbery, assault and illegal surveillance April 5. He faces 18 charges.
The attorney general said he had tried to keep Hutcheson in jail.
“When we charged Hutcheson, we asked the court to keep him locked up because we believed he was a danger to the community,” said General Hawley over the phone.
But the court allowed Hutcheson to bond out, and on Friday night, Hutcheson was at the jail with Sanders.
According to the Mississippi County coroner, Sanders was being held in self-protective custody. He told News 2 that at some point Sanders became agitated and multiple deputies tried to restrain him.
During one of the altercations, Sanders was tased. About an hour later, he was dead.
The coroner further stated Sanders had no trauma to his body; his cause of death is unknown. The coroner added that he’s waiting for toxicology results to come back.
The family plans to ask for a second autopsy that will hopefully reveal more answers.
The local chapter of the NAACP held a press conference with Sanders’ family on Wednesday, saying they will do anything they legally can to help get some answers.
“We tried to get all the information, but they’re not releasing it,” said Sander’s aunt, Natasha Nance.
“I asked the sheriff’s department, I want to know what is your protocol when you have a mentally disturbed person as you all claimed he was. What are your protocols for that?” she added.
The attorney general told the family “I am deeply sorry” and pledging his office “will bring the full force of the law” to see justice is done.
The Department of Justice and the FBI have also been notified of the incident by the attorney general so they can investigate if Sanders’ civil rights were violated.