Death of Choctaw County Standoff Suspect Probed

Authorities say Jeff Bonner died in the Marengo County Jail after being transported there around 4 a.m. Saturday morning.

Bonner was earlier involved in a standoff with law enforcement.

The standoff resulted from an incident that started at a house about five miles from the location where 45-year-old Jeff Bonner lived, at the home of the chief for the New Hope Volunteer Fire Department near the Needham community.

Fire Chief Jerry Bonner, who spoke to Newscenter 11 by phone, said he was attacked by Jeff Bonner with a lug wrench and the two fought for about 40 minutes.

"At first, shocked," said Needham resident LaVaughn Sonnie, when asked for reaction to the news of the incident. "We couldn't believe it."

"He didn't go in to hurt the man," said Needham resident Tammy Turner. "He went in to get a gun."

After the chief escaped the struggle, officials say Jeff Bonner went back to his home where he barricaded himself inside, as his family members joined authorities outside. It was ultimately about 3:30 a.m. when authorities were able to take Jeff Bonner into custody.

Because the Choctaw County Jail has been closed by the state, the suspect was taken to the jail in neighboring Marengo County. He was discovered dead later Saturday morning.

"They brought him in here sometime after 4 o'clock, and it was sometime after 10 a.m. when we found him dead, you know," said Marengo County Sheriff Jesse Langley. "It's being investigated by ABI."

"He didn't die from natural causes nor suicide," said Marengo County Coroner Stuart Eatmon. "We got him sent to the forensics lab and it will take three to four weeks to get the results back." 00:31:57

Authorities say they will have to wait until those results come back to determine the exact cause of death.


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  • by Close Family Friend Location: ??? on May 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM
    To All the people who think jeff was a good guy well you are all wrong he was a drunk/drug head that could care less for his family and friends Jeff shot him self. So every one that thinks he was the victim you are all WRONG!!!!! The police and ems did there jobs!! So Shut up If you do not know all the facts!!!!!!!!
  • by Paul Location: USA on Mar 15, 2011 at 06:19 PM
    Somewhere, Yes I agree completely that he should have been given medical treatment. The news media originally did say that they were waiting results from the autopsy. but the autopsy has been over for weeks now and it was on the news about a month ago that the results from the autopsy revealed that he died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound under his chin.
  • by somewhere on Feb 28, 2011 at 08:57 AM
    paul whoever u r..he was still not given medical treatment.no matter what he did.everyone has that right.and i do not remember the news media saying that the autopsy revealed self inflicted gun shot wound.it said awaiting autopsy(final)results.but the fact still remains "he did not get medical treatment"thanks
  • by Paul Location: USA on Feb 24, 2011 at 02:54 PM
    George, the news media plainly said that the autopsy revealed that he died from a self inflicted gun shot wound under his chin.
  • by George Location: US on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:24 PM
    Well, seems the FBI is on the case now, as some of you may have heard, Jeff was beaten to death, hopefully this case gets wrapped up soon, and those 57 new ex police inmates move into death row where they belong.
  • by Joan on Jan 11, 2011 at 08:59 AM
    Sooki,been busy getting the lawsuits filed didn't realize you missed us.Just to keep u updated we've got everybody covered emts,cops,jail just anyone who was within sight of him that night or the day he died covered in lawsuits .So how have you been? Luv U ,Aunt MomM
  • by sookie Location: everywhere on Jan 7, 2011 at 07:33 PM
    so what did the autopsy say? nobody talks about it anymore hmmm i wonder why
  • by Toler Location: Miss on Dec 10, 2010 at 07:58 PM
    I've been reading these comments since this happened. I am retired law enforcement & this mess that these officers have let occur is pitiful.What they trying to do save money on hospital bills? I've heard from some people that this man strangled to death on his own blood while staggering around in a jail until he passed out. Everyone of you ought to be replaced with some one with a brain !
  • by anoymous on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:07 AM
    to glenda..the teargas alone was enough to be taken to a hospital..u know to much..so i think u was either involved with the medical exam r, u have someone that was..watch your mouth cause one day u may have someone in the same predicament needing help and they will not get help.u would want justice also..
  • by Bob Location: Tuscaloosa on Dec 3, 2010 at 07:53 AM
    Seems like he got the "LEE HARVEY OSWALD" treatment to me. I hope the ABI takes some action on this case . I'm a nurse and I know he should have been evaluated by a MD (not an EMT) Before being taken to jail. Local police dropped the ball on this one. No one deserves to bleed to death in jail , especially when on a sucicide watch . Prayers to all involved .
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