Hamilton County Sheriff's spokesman Matt Lea tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press 27-year-old Brandy Ellis was found dead Nov. 30 by officials at Silverdale Detention Center. Authorities are investigating.
Private prison operator CoreCivic manages the facility that mostly holds women pretrial because the county jail is unequipped. Court records show Ellis was transferred to Silverdale because she had other cases pending.
Attorney Stuart Brown represented Ellis on 2017 burglary charges. He says she had a history of mental health issues and that county officials told him she hanged herself.
Brown says Ellis agreed to plead guilty to stealing a purse, but a judge delayed sentencing when Ellis didn't seem to understand what was happening.
Ellis was due in court Wednesday.
Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.