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WJBD - Local News - Coroner Rules 26-Year-Old Odin Man Found Dead In Prison Cell Died As Result Of A Suicide

Coroner Rules 26-Year-Old Odin Man Found Dead In Prison Cell Died As Result Of A Suicide

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

A coroner has determined a 26-year-old Odin man who was found dead in his cell at the Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro on Tuesday died as a result of a suicide.

Montgomery County Coroner Rick Broaddus says Christopher Nichol hanged himself with a bedsheet. The coroner says Nichol's cellmate found Nichol after returning from the prison gymnasium. Broaddus reported Nichol tied the bedsheet around the metal frame of a bunk bed. Attempts at resuscitation failed and Nichol was declared dead at 7:33 Tuesday night.

An Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman said the matter is under investigation and did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Nichol had been serving a six year prison term handed down in Marion County Court last June for aggravated criminal sexual abuse to a 16-year-old girl. Nichol had originally been arrested on the charge in December 2011. At the time sheriff's deputies said Nichol had consensual sex with the girl. He was arrested following an investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services and Sheriff's officials after the girl was found to be pregnant after being taken to the hospital after fainting.

Nichol entered an open plea to the charge last January. Judge Michael McHaney handed down the six year prison term after prosecutors called five witnesses who all testified to Nichol repeatedly violating a condition of his bond to have no contact with the victim while free on personal recognizance bond. The victim had also taken the stand during the sentencing hearing to say she loved Nichol and wanted to be with him. In handing down the sentence, Judge Michael McHaney said the bottom line is the victim was a child and Nichol was using a child for his own sexual gratification which is not acceptable.

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