John D. R. Atchison, a Florida Assistant US Attorney, succeeded in his second attempt to commit suicide yesterday. He was being held in a Michigan federal prison on three felony counts, including a charge of crossing state lines with the intent to have sex with a person under the age of twelve — in his case, a fictional five year old girl (I posted about his arrest here).
Atchison, 53, was arrested last month at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after weeks of Internet conversations between the prosecutor and a detective posing as the mother of a 5-year-old girl, authorities have said.
He was carrying presents for the girl, including a doll and hoop earrings, and also had sexual materials, including petroleum jelly.
After his arrest Atchison was placed on suicide watch, but it was lifted at the request of the defense, after Atchison assured a U.S. magistrate he wouldn’t harm himself.
Two days later, Atchison used a sheet in his Sanilac County jail cell to try to hang himself around 4 a.m. Another inmate yelled out to jailers, who kept Atchison from hurting himself, according to Sanilac County Sheriff Virgil Strickler. Atchison was later moved to the Milan prison.
If he was guilty as charged, he was one sick and twisted man. Still, his family and friends are grieving today, and I am sorry for them.
H/T, Natalie in comments to the earlier post