Inmate dies in Lexington County jail

A 65-year-old inmate accused of killing his wife last summer died in the Lexington County Detention Center on Friday, in a fall ruled to be a suicide by the Lexington County Coroner. Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts, whose department operates the jail, has asked the State Law Enforcement Division investigate the death Friday of James W. Shealy in the jail housing unit. Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman said Shealy died of a fractured skull and blunt force trauma of the head from a fall. Shealy was pronounced dead at 12:04 p.m. Friday at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital. Shealy had been held without bond at the jail since July 31 on charges of murder and possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, Metts said. Deputies arrested Shealy on July 31 in connection with the fatal shooting of Shealy’s estranged wife, Brenda Jean Shealy, 60, at his home near Gaston. — Staff reports