Tyler Perry is opening up about his nephew’s death on Saturday and revealing he’s ordering a second autopsy on the body.
Perry’s nephew, Gavin Porter, died by apparent suicide in his cell at the Union Parish Detention Center in Farmerville, Louisiana on Saturday night, according to multiple local news outlets.
Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates told The News-Star Porter’s death came after Perry’s nephew was involved in a fight with several inmates on Saturday. Gates said no foul play was suspected and that Porter’s body was sent to Little Rock, Arkansas for an autopsy, according to the newspaper.
Perry, 50, posted a statement on his Instagram account on Thursday, writing, “A few years ago my nephew committed a heinous crime — he shot his biological father and killed him just feet away from my sister over a senseless argument. The murder shook our entire family to its core.”
“Despite his horrible act, before he went to prison I went to see him in the local jail. I assured him that we all still loved him, but it was important to all of us, including his mother, that he was punished for this horrific crime that he had committed. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison,” Perry wrote.
“Call me naive, but it was my hope that after serving his time, really reflecting, showing much remorse, and asking God for forgiveness that he would have been able to come work for me,” the Madea’s Family Reunion creator continued. “Where he would join all the other former inmates that work for me and turn his life around, just as they have. But that day will never come.”
He wrote, “Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison. I say allegedly because, unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong. With that in mind I have hired Dr. Michael Baden to do a second autopsy, and we are expecting the results soon.”
“I want to be clear that we are not a family of conspiracy theorists, and we want to believe that there was no foul play, just as the sheriff has stated publicly,” he added.
Perry concluded his post, writing, “On behalf of my and my sister we thank you for all the thoughts and prayers, and we all have no further comments at this time.”
Porter’s death is currently under investigation, Gates told The News-Star on Wednesday. Porter was arrested in October 2016 for the shooting death of his father, Gary Wayne Porter, after the two allegedly got into a fight, according to WAFB.
While Gates did not provide more detail into the death of the man, he did say Porter pled guilty in April 2017 to a charge of manslaughter, according to news station KNOE.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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