ORANGEBURG -- The widow of an inmate who killed himself in the Orangeburg County jail has sued, saying the man's death could have been prevented.

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reports that the lawsuit claims that jail officials should have noticed that 36-year-old Nathaniel Hearn was unstable and should have placed the man on suicide watch.

Hearn hanged himself with a bedsheet several hours after his arrest in February 2012. Investigators said they found materials that could be used to make bombs while investigating a domestic violence complaint.

The lawsuit accuses jail officials of knowing Hearn had a history of mental illness but not properly caring for him during three separate arrests in 2012.

Officials say the county will defend itself against the allegations.

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Information from: The Times & Democrat, http://www.timesanddemocrat.com