April 23, 2018
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State police continue investigation of inmate suicide at Houlton jail

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — State police continue to investigate the death of a central Aroostook man who hanged himself on Monday while incarcerated in the Aroostook County Jail.

Chief Deputy Darrell Crandall of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that no further information about the death of 31-year-old Kirk Sharp could be released at this point, as the investigation is still ongoing.

Crandall said that while the jail does not keep records, officials believe that it was the first suicide in the facility in at least three decades or more.

Sharp hanged himself by a bedsheet in his cell and was found by corrections officers at approximately 1:30 a.m. Monday. He was alone in the locked cell at the time.

Corrections officers worked to revive him at the jail before an ambulance was called, but he died at Houlton Regional Hospital.

The chief deputy said Wednesday that the jail has both single and double cells, as do many correctional facilities across the state, so it is not uncommon for an inmate to be alone in a cell.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said that Sharp was arrested Aug. 22 by state police on a domestic violence assault charge. His last known address was in the Mars Hill and Castle Hill area.

Sharp was convicted of domestic violence assault twice in Nov. 2009 and for assault in Oct. 2011. He spent more than five months in jail and paid fines to resolve those charges. He also was indicted by the Aroostook County grand jury for domestic violence assault in March 2011.

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