Connect with us

Criminal Justice

W.Va. Man Who Confessed to 2016 Shooting of Black Teen Found Dead in Kentucky Jail

Published

on

James Means. Photo: Facebook

William Pulliam, the man who shot and killed 15-year-old African American James Means in Charleston back in November 2016, has died of an apparent suicide.

Kanawha County Prosecutors alerted James Means’ mother Thursday that William Pulliam had hung himself while in custody at Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky.  

The 65-year-old man pleaded guilty in August to second degree murder.

U.S. Marshall Service Deputy Fred Lamey confirmed Pulliam’s death, but held off on confirming the death a suicide until an autopsy could be performed.

Kentucky State Police are investigating Pulliam’s death. Trooper Bobby King said Pulliam was found unresponsive in his cell Thursday afternoon. 

“Cellmates and jail staff attempted to revive Pulliam until Carter County EMS arrived. EMS continued resuscitation attempts but were ultimately unsuccessful,” Trooper King said in a statement. “Investigators do not suspect criminal activity played at role in Pulliam’s death and an autopsy is scheduled for today.

Pulliam was originally charged with first degree murder for killing Means on the East End of Charleston.

He told the arresting officer: “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.” 

Pulliam’s death means that there will not be a sentencing hearing. Fay Adkins, Means’ mother, says she regrets that she now doesn’t have the opportunity to talk to Pulliam directly.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s senior reporter Dave Mistich contributed to this report.

This article was originally published by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.