St. Lucie County Jail Detainee Dies After Hanging Himself

St. Lucie County jail detainee dies after hanging himself in his cell, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara

Alexander Kelvin Johnson, 27, of Fort Pierce, fatally hung himself in his St. Lucie County jail cell late Sunday night, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

Fort Pierce police arrested him last Thursday, Oct. 29, for domestic battery, and he was booked into the St. Lucie County jail. During the intake/booking process, jail staff provided Johnson with access to mental health, suicide prevention and substance abuse services. He said he didn’t intend to harm himself.

“We go to extraordinary efforts to prevent harm to any detainee housed at the St. Lucie County Jail,” said Sheriff Mascara. “Sadly, when an individual has his mind made up to follow through with an action that we are not aware of, it is extremely difficult to prevent.”

He denied having a drinking problem but said he drank alcohol every day. For this reason, he was placed in a cell in the jail’s medical wing, then moved to a non-medical dormitory on Saturday, Oct. 31. There, he threatened to hit his roommate, and when a deputy attempted to place handcuffs on him, he pulled away and had to be physically escorted out of the dorm.

At 11:15 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1, deputies conducting a headcount in the dormitory where Johnson was confined discovered him hanging in his cell. They immediately cut him down, began CPR and called for an on-duty nurse. Jail medical staff continued CPR and attempted to revive him using an Automated External Defibrillator (an “AED”), but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

St. Lucie County Fire Rescue EMTs arrived at the jail and took Johnson to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, where the emergency room physician pronounced him dead.


The Florida Constitution establishes the Office of the elected County Sheriff who is responsible for preserving the peace, carrying out the orders of Florida courts and the Board of County Commissioners, and providing deputies at court sessions and meetings of the Board of County Commissioners. The Sheriff is the chief correctional officer of the county. Sheriff Ken J. Mascara is elected by the people of St. Lucie County and is accountable to them.

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