A man from Charlotte County, Florida, was found dead in his jail cell Monday after accusations surfaced of his crimes against children. James Palmucci, 48, was originally facing some 83 sex crimes charges involving children. His charges ranged from molestation to rape, and the charges alleged that his victims ranged from under 12 to 16.
Palmucci was also facing charges of battery of a child, and court documents indicate the battery involved throwing fluids of some variety at the child. The man was being held in Charlotte County Jail in the general population, and had a cell to himself. Authorities have noted that Palmucci was being housed with people convicted or accused of similar crimes.
The Charlotte County Sherriff’s office issued a statement regarding Palmucci’s killing. “Per policy, corrections deputies walk the pod once every 60 minutes to ensure the safety and security of all inmates. Around 6 a.m. prior to shift change, James Palmucci was observed in his cell.”
After that, the release continues, corrections officers circled back to inform Palmucci of his court summons that morning. There, they found him dead in his cell with fabric wrapped around his neck. Authorities administered life-saving measures, awaiting medics, but Palmucci could be resuscitated. Authorities confirmed an autopsy was to be performed.
According to the jail authorities, they had heard no reports of any other inmates threatening Palmucci. Likewise, other inmates did not report that the Charlotte County man signaled any intent to harm himself.
At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether Palmucci took his own life or if he was attacked by another inmate. Authorities have stated that both scenarios are plausible. Lt. John Heck told reporters that he believed suicide was certainly a plausible scenario, stating “He did have an arraignment this morning, so a lot of people, when they’re faced with a lot of different types of investigations, you don’t know what they’re thinking. Obviously, he thought the worst so he made the decision at that point to, you know, to go forward with what his plans were at that time.”
However, authorities have not ruled out the possibility that another inmate could have attacked Palmucci. The crimes he was accused of were particularly graphic, which could have fueled an attack by another inmate.
If you or someone you know has been struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to the National Suicide Hotline. The number for the hotline is 800-273-8255, and they are open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.