SLED investigates death of York County inmate

The (Rock Hill) HeraldSeptember 3, 2013 

— An inmate at the York County Detention Center in jail since Wednesday attempted suicide Saturday afternoon and died later that night, according to York County Sheriff's Office officials.

William Joseph Blinn, 26, was found unresponsive in his cell around 1 p.m. Saturday, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. Blinn was taken first to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill then airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Sheriff's office spokesman Trent Faris said Blinn died at about 11 p.m. Saturday at CMC.

Blinn was charged Wednesday with two counts of grand larceny, safecracking, and possession of burglary tools. He was arrested after being identified as the suspect in a burglary at the Country Club Market on Saluda Road in Rock Hill.

A sheriff’s deputy responded to an alarm at the market and observed a ladder, an unlocked front door, a front counter “in disarray” and other features that indicated a burglary. The owner of the market reported that two cash registers and $1,400 in cash was missing.

Blinn, who lived near the market, was found and taken into custody by the Rock Hill Police Department. When found, he had more than $1,200 in cash and three knives, as well as the cash registers, police say.

On Monday, Faris said State Law Enforcement Division officials are investigating Blinn’s suicide and no further details were available.

SLED investigates incidents when asked by other agencies, said SLED spokesman Thom Berry. He said the investigation is ongoing and that there was no timeline for completion.

“Each investigation is unique,” he said, and it will take as long as it needs to assure a thorough job is completed.

Blinn did not have a criminal record in South Carolina.

The Herald’s Andrew Dys and Rachel Southmayd contributed.

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