ANACONDA, Mont. — A judicial inquiry will be taking place as part of a coroner’s investigation into the death of a Montana inmate.

The Montana Standard reports ( ) an Anaconda jail detention officer found 24-year-old Zachary Williams kneeling in his cell with a bed sheet wound into a rope and tied around his neck. The other end of the sheet was tied to a 3-foot-high (1-meter-high) handicap railing.

Authorities accuse Williams of killing himself.

Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell said police believe Williams leaned forward until he passed out and then asphyxiated.

Williams was facing six counts of felony assault charges on a minor and was facing 95 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

Williams pleaded not guilty in October 2016 to those charges.

Information from: The Montana Standard,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.