SBI Investigates Death of Avery County Jail Inmate

Published Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

By Jesse Wood

July 16, 2013. The SBI is investigating the death of an inmate at the Avery County Detention Center. 

Pritchard

Pritchard

At around 12:27 a.m. on July 10, Walter Earl “Dood” Pritchard, 44, was brought into the Avery County jail on charges of assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct, according to a press release from Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye.

Detention staff then placed Prichard in a watch cell and maintained “regular visual inspections.” At about 12:32 p.m., Pritchard was “checked and was OK.”

At 12:39 p.m., staff found Prichard unresponsive and medical assistance was sought, according the release. 

Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, after which Frye immediately notified the SBI to conduct a thorough investigation, the release noted. 

The investigation is ongoing.  

According to Pritchard’s obituary, he was from Newland. 

“He was a jack of all trades and an excellent woodworker. Dood was a loving father and grandfather and a great friend to all. He was a member of Fletchers Chapel,” a portion of his obituary read. 

Correction: High Country previously reported that Pritchard died in the a.m. He died 12 hours after being put in the watch cell.

Obituary for Dood Pritchard

Dood Earl Pritchard ,age 44, of Newland passed away on July 10, 2013. 

A native of Avery County, he was born October 7, 1968 a son of the late Walter Otis and Elaine Cecile Johnson Pritchard. 

He was a jack of all trades and an excellent woodworker. Dood was a loving father and grandfather and a great friend to all. He was a member of Fletchers Chapel. 

Along with his parents, Dood was preceded in death by his sister, Ginger Pritchard. 

Survivors include his daughters, Elizabeth Pritchard of Bristol, VA, Sloan Pritchard of Newland; granddaughter, Eliyah Canter; sisters, Robbin Pritchard of Alaska, Carletta Eastman, and her husband, Darren, of Hendersonville, NC, Kim Storie, and her husband, Greg, of Matney, NC and Sabra Arnold, and her husband, Jamie, of Texas. 

The family will receive friends on Sunday, July 14, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to help with final expenses. 

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.rsfh.net. 

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Pritchard family. 

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