Shelby County Corrections Center Inmate Death Believed to Be Homicide


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Leonard Nelson
  • Leonard Nelson
Leonard Nelson, 22, was found dead in his cell at the Shelby County Corrections Center around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31st. The death is being investigated as homicide.

Investigators with the Shelby County Corrections Center and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office have determined that the inmate died after an argument with his cellmate, 36-year-old Daniel Smith.

“We’re interviewing inmates and staff to ensure there’s a thorough review of what occurred,” said Bill Gupton, Director of the Shelby County Division of Corrections.

Investigators originally thought Nelson's death was a suicide, but it's now being investigated as a homicide. 

Nelson was serving time on charges of aggravated burglary and sexual exploitation of a minor. Smith is serving time for aggravated burglary and theft of property.

UPDATE: On Thursday, June 2nd, Daniel Smith was charged with first-degree murder for Nelson's death. A motive is still under investigation.

Daniel Smith
  • Daniel Smith


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