UPDATED: Jail inmate critical after jumping

PERKINS TWP. CAUTION: This story contains video that some may find disturbing du
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



CAUTION: This story contains video that some may find disturbing due to its graphic nature.

An Erie County Jail inmate tried to commit suicide Tuesday afternoon by jumping off a second floor walkway, according to Capt. Paul Sigsworth.

The inmate, Timothy J. Thayer, 47, 7800 block of Darrow Road, Huron, entered a plea agreement last Wednesday in Erie County Common Pleas Court. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of felonious assault. Abduction and attempted murder charges were dismissed.

He agreed to serve seven years in prison for the crime -- four years on the assault and three years on a gun specification indictment, and is to be sentenced Sept. 13.

Since the agreement, however, Thayer was contemplating trying to withdraw his plea.

"I was present at the hearing," Sigsworth said. "It appeared that Mr. Thayer might have been pretty reluctant to enter that plea, but he did."

Thayer was on the phone with his attorney immediately before he climbed to a second floor walkway in his cell block where he purposely leaned over the railing, according to Sigsworth.

Thayer fell 13 feet and hit his head on the concrete floor below.

He was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center and then flown by medical helicopter to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.

He suffered head and spine injuries and was in critical condition as of Tuesday evening.

Sigsworth said they also found a letter to Judge Roger Binette in Thayer's cell about withdrawing the plea.

The original charges were from an incident in January when Thayer allegedly became enraged and threatened to kill family members and himself with multiple weapons in his possession.

According to an affidavit completed by a family member, "at one point he had a shotgun he thought was loaded and stuck it under the chin of (a relative) and pulled the trigger," Sigsworth said.

Sigsworth said when Thayer was first brought to the jail in January he was placed on suicide watch, but since had been taken off.

This is the first incident involving a prisoner intentionally jumping off the second floor walkway.