Tyler Perry’s nephew, Gavin Porter, was found dead by prison guards in his Louisiana jail cell of an apparent hanging on February 25, police have confirmed to HollywoodLife. Gavin was just 26 years old.
UPDATE (2/28/20, 8:48 p.m. ET): After Tyler Perry hired Dr. Michael Baden to look into the death of his 26-year-old nephew Gavin Porter, the famous pathologist reported that foul play was most likely not involved. This would make the inmate’s death an apparent suicide, if true. “I spoke with Dr. Michael Baden today after he finished the autopsy on my nephew. I was relieved to hear that he is 98% sure that there was no foul play in his death, just as Sheriff Gates stated. Answers don’t take away grief, but they surely give room for grieving to take its course,” the film producer and director wrote on Facebook on Feb. 28, three days after his nephew was found dead in his jail cell.
A day prior, Tyler had hesitated to blame Gavin’s death on suicide in an emotional post. “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. 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 amid the lengthy post. “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.” You can read his full statement below.
ORIGINAL: Tyler Perry‘s 26-year-old nephew, Gavin Porter, was found dead in his Louisiana jail cell on February 25, the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office confirms to HollywoodLife. “We can confirm the identity of Gavin Porter and we are awaiting the results of the autopsy,” the office said in a statement. “There is no initial investigation and there didn’t appear to be any type of trauma to the body. It did appear to be a hanging.” Gavin’s mother (who is one of the Madea filmmaker’s sisters) was reportedly told by prison officials that Gavin hanged himself with a bedsheet while in solitary confinement, according to sources “with direct knowledge” who spoke to TMZ.
Gavin was reportedly in solitary confinement after getting into a fight with another inmate over the weekend of February 22, according to the outlet, and was alive around 6:00pm the night of his death when guards checked on him. The guards reportedly came back to Gavin’s cell at 8:00pm the same night, where they then discovered him dead. Tyler’s nephew was incarcerated at the prison near St. Helena Parish, Louisiana after being convicted of manslaughter for shooting and killing his father, Gary Wayne Porter, at the home they shared in 2016. The father and son, then 54 and 22, respectively, had gotten into a fight before the shooting, according to the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office. Gavin pleaded no contest to manslaughter, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
HollywoodLife reached out to Tyler Perry’s rep for comment, but did not hear back as of press time. This story is still developing; HollywoodLife will keep you updated as more information becomes available.