Inmate at Sevier County Jail dies

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 09:38 PM

 An inmate was found hanging in her cell in the Sevier County Jail Thursday, the day after her arrest and also the day after her brother was laid to rest.

A corrections officer found Amy Denise Lowery, 35, of 2559 Roberts Road in Kodak, hanging in her cell at about 4:55 p.m. Thursday during a routine check of the cells, Sheriff Ron Seals said. Jail medical staff administered lifesaving measures, but she was pronounced dead at LeConte Medical Center later that day.

Seals issued the statement after The Mountain Press began inquiring about her death following an anonymous tip alerting the newspaper of the incident. Lowery had been arrested the previous day on charges of assault and resisting arrest; she also reportedly had additional warrants in Jefferson and Knox County.

She was arrested the same day her brother, Kenny Ray Lowery Jr., 37, of Kodak, was to be buried.

According to his obituary, Kenny Lowery Jr. died April 12. His funeral service and visitation were held Tuesday.

The sheriff’s statement notes Lowery hadn’t given any indication she was suicidal; it doesn’t address whether she was alone in a cell or in solitary confinement prior to the discovery of her body.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the death and has ordered an autopsy.

The district attorney general’s office has been informed of the incident; it wasn’t clear Saturday if the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was involved in the investigation.