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  • Writer's pictureLucky Knott

Update on Death of Man in Custody at Grundy County Jail

Press Release:

During the early morning hours of May 29, 2024, Grundy County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a one vehicle crash on Sherrell Rd in Pelham.

While deputies were responding, information was relayed that the single white male occupant later identified as Ronnie Ledbetter became combative with on scene EMS personnel, and physically assaulted one of them.

Upon the arrival of deputies, Ledbetter appeared as if he was heavily intoxicated on some type of narcotic, and continued to be combative and was actively resisting. After being cleared on scene by EMS personnel, Ledbetter was taken into custody, and placed inside the back of a clearly marked Grundy County patrol unit. Ledbetter began trying to kick the glass out of the unit, along with head butting the glass. This individual was moved into a unit with bars on the windows and transported to the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office in Altamont, TN.

Upon arrival at the jail, Ledbetter continued to fight and resist deputies while getting him out of the patrol unit and into a booking cell. Once inside the jail Ledbetter was secured and his handcuffs were removed.

As deputies placed him in a seated position, they observed he had stopped breathing. Narcan was administered at the same time CPR action began. An AED was placed on Ledbetter, and lifesaving efforts were performed.

Ledbetter was transported to the hospital in Sewanee, TN by ambulance while CPR was being performed. Upon arrival at the hospital, he was pronounced deceased.

The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office has contacted the 12th Judicial District Attorney and is working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI).

Ronnie Ledbetter was later found to be a registered sex offender out of Franklin County with active warrants. Ledbetter’s warrant also identified him as an escape risk.

Camera footage from the jail, and from the original scene was given to TBI. This is an active and ongoing investigation and autopsy results are pending. As more information becomes available, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office will update this release.

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