The hanging death of Utah State Prison inmate Gerald Paul Brown was self-inflicted, the Salt Lake County attorney's office has concluded.
Brown, a double murderer whose death sentence was overturned in 1980, was found hanging from a ceiling vent in his maximum security cell on Sept. 9, a week after he escaped and was recaptured.The 47-year-old inmate left behind a note to his mother that expressed his desperation at the prospect of a lifetime of incarceration.
"I decided when I went to the parole board that I would rather be dead than spend the rest of my life here," Brown wrote. "As you know, I tried my best to get away. That didn't work, so I have chosen this way out."
Brown and inmate Rick George, 38, escaped from the prison Sept. 5, prompting one of the largest manhunts in Utah in recent years. They were caught the next day at the Mount Timpanogos Campground in the north fork of Provo Canyon.
Deputy County Attorney Walter R. Ellett said, "From the information I have received and reviewed, it appears that the death of Gerald Paul Brown was self-inflicted and can be classified as a suicide."