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Walter Earl “Dood” Prichard. Submitted photo

Originally published: 2013-07-17 16:00:29
Last modified: 2013-07-17 16:00:29

Death at Avery County Jail under state investigation

Jamie Shell / (

An investigation is underway into the death of Walter Earl “Dood” Prichard at Avery County Jail last week.

According to a Monday, July 15, press release emailed to media outlets from Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye, Prichard, 44, was brought into Avery County Jail at about 12:25 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10, for assault on an officer and disorderly conduct criminal charges.

The release explains that detention staff “placed Prichard in a watch cell and maintained regular visual inspections.” Prichard was checked at around 12:32 p.m., according to the release, and was “okay.” Approximately seven minutes later, however, Prichard was found unresponsive and medical assistance was sought.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to