Accused murderer commits suicide in Cotton Co. Jail

COTTON CO., Okla_ Accused killer David Daniel was found dead in his cell early Thursday morning, apparently after committing suicide overnight in the Cotton County Jail.

He is accused of first degree murder in the January death of Teresa Speir. He was scheduled to appear in court next Tuesday for a preliminary hearing in that case. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said a jail trusty discovered Daniel's body when he was delivering breakfast to Daniel's cell around 4:30 AM.

Investigators said it appears that Daniel used his underwear to hang himself. They said he tied it to the door of his cell. In fact, when officers were trying to open the door, they had to cut through that underwear just to get into his cell. He was declared dead at the scene.

There are cameras monitoring the cells, but investigators believe Daniel may have done the act in an area of the cell that the camera would not record.

OSBI Agent Richard Goss said, "He was in a cell by his self isolated with no contact from any other inmates at all. That pretty much narrows it down. Then, we've got the jail footage of what's going on in the cell when that occurred. There's no indication of anything other than he committed suicide."

The reasons for Daniel's suicide are not yet clear. Goss said his department spoke with other inmates to get some insight into Daniel's state of mind before the suicide.

"We just finished speaking to a trusty, and he said that he had spoken to Daniel last evening and that he seemed to be fine and in good spirits."

Goss said Daniel had undergone a court-ordered mental evaluation a few months ago and was declared mentally sound.

"Obviously from a law enforcement angle, you never know what goes through a person's mind. Some people can interpret that as evidence of guilt. Some people can interpret that as he didn't want to face any consequences. Who knows what was going through his mind."

Goss said footage from the surveillance camera shows that Daniel was writing on a pad before he took his own life. He said the pad could hold the words that tell them why he did it.

"We don't know," said Goss. "We may get an answer. We're going to be going through those to see if he left some indication as to why he chose to do this."

Agent Goss said he feels that his department had a strong case against Daniel, and that the jury would have made "the right decision".

Teresa Speir's daughter, Amanda said that out of respect for David Daniel's family, her family did not want to go on camera. However, they did issue this statement:

"We feel that it is unfortunate that there are still questions that we won't have answered, but our prayers are with his family."