Wayne County inmate dies after struggle with officers, SBI investigating

Graydon Jerome Parker III (Wayne County Sheriff's Office)

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of an inmate who died after being arrested and taken to the Wayne County Detention Center Monday.

Graydon Jermone Parker III (Provided by family)
Graydon Jermone Parker III (Provided by family)

Graydon Jermone Parker III was arrested around 11:30 a.m. Monday after deputies said he was responsible for a breaking and entering and property damage in the area of Sanderson Road in the Seven Springs community.

Those who witnessed the incident claim Parker got combative and tried to fight four Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies when they arrived to the scene.

RELATED: Unresponsive Wayne County inmate transferred to ICU

Parker refused to cooperate with deputies and that behavior continued after he was transported to the Wayne County Detention Center, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office said Parker remained uncooperative for the next several hours despite deputies attempts to calm him.

“Parker continued struggling with the detention officers and assisting officers from other agencies, which led him to being transported to Wayne UNC Healthcare after he became unresponsive,” the sheriff’s office reported.

Parker was taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit and has since died, officials said.

Those who live near Parker said they didn’t have many interactions with the 54-year-old – noting they tried to avoid him.

One neighbor, who did not want to go on camera, recounts a time when Parker chased her kids with a machete after they fired a BB gun at his home.


Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce requested the SBI investigate the case. The bureau’s public information officer, Patty McQuillan, confirmed to CBS North Carolina that the SBI is now looking into Parker’s death and the circumstances surrounding it.

McQuillan said that officials haven’t finished interviewing witnesses so there are “no details yet” that can be released regarding the case.

An attorney representing Parker’s family released a statement to CBS North Carolina that read in part:

“The family is currently trying to deal with the sudden and tragic loss of Jerry. The family asks for community understanding and support in this difficult time.”

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