An inmate on death row in Alabama was found dead inside his prison cell early on Sunday morning of an apparent suicide, according to the state’s Department of Corrections.
Jeffrey Lynn Borden, 57, was found “hanging by a bed sheet in his cell at approximately 2:30 a.m. during a security check” on Sunday and pronounced dead at 3 p.m. His body has been turned over to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
As of Sunday, Borden had spent 24 years, five months and four days in prison after his murder conviction, according to the state’s Department of Corrections.
He’d been on death row since 1995 after he was sentenced for the 1993 murders of his estranged wife, Cheryl Borden, and her father, Roland Harris.
The brutal slayings took place at a family gathering in Gardendale, Alabama, on Christmas Eve, after Borden had brought the couple’s three children to his in-laws’ home. When his estranged wife tried to help their children move some of the things from the car, Borden pulled out a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol and shot her in the back of the head in front of the children. Borden then proceeded to shoot Harris in the back as he attempted to run into the house, investigators said.
Both Cheryl Borden and Harris died of their wounds later that evening at a local hospital.
Borden was scheduled to be executed last October, but, just three hours before he was set to die, U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins issued a stay on Borden’s execution – the second one issued that week. Borden was one of a number of death row inmates in a consolidated case in Alabama who claimed the lethal-injection method of execution used in the state was unconstitutional and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
In November, Watkins eventually lifted the stay on Borden’s execution and rejected a request this February from Borden’s lawyers to reinstate it. It’s unclear whether a new date had been set for his execution.