Family searches for answers after loved one killed in prison

Family searches for answers after loved one killed in prison

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Months after a Valdosta State Prison inmate was murdered behind bars, Anthony Hann, Jr.'s family said they are still waiting for answers.

Hann was murdered back in August. He left behind a son and a fiance, but he is not the first person to die at the Valdosta State Prison this year. He was the fourth. And he was the sixth in the last 2 years.

Hann's family said they are looking for answers because of a lack of communication and they want to know what's really going on behind the walls at Valdosta State Prison.

Described by his loved ones as goofy, loving and family-oriented, Hann had decided to turn his life around after getting into some trouble as a teenager.

"That man did nothing but make people laugh, he'd brighten your day," said Hann's fiance Ashley Solice.

Hann was sentenced to 20 years in prison with the possibility of parole after accepting a plea deal for a crime he committed as a minor.

That sentence would eventually become a death sentence.

"He's the one that brought the family together, he changed his life around completely and didn't even get a chance to live it out," said Solice.

On August 14, the Hann family said they received a call between the hours of 9 and 10 p.m. saying Anthony had been stabbed to death.

Solice said the call did not come from an employee of the prison, but from an inmate.

"I kept saying to myself, 'No it's not true, it's not true,' but it was it was a horrible night," said Solice.

Anthony's cousin, Angela White, said she immediately began calling the prison to confirm the allegations.

Angela said after nearly a day she finally received a call back.

She said the call though was simply about where she wanted Anthony's body to be transferred to after his autopsy and nothing about how he died.

"We still have very little information on who were the culprits in this matter, who did this to him, we just don't know what's going on," said White.

The Hann's family attorney, Pierre Ifill, said this case has been difficult to establish any concrete information.

"All government officials related to this matter have had their lips shut in this matter. We have reached out to Valdosta State Prison officials, we have reached out to GBI officials to get additional information as it relates to this incident and essentially, we've been stonewalled at every turn," said Ifill.

"We want answers on what's going on, who's being charged, who's being charged if anyone and how did these individuals get into my cousin's dorm to murder him," said White.

WALB has also been working for months to get answers about what happened to Hann and other inmates that have died inside the prison this year alone.

However, our calls and requests have so far gone unanswered.

"He didn't deserve that. He made a mistake that ended up costing him his life," said Solice.

According to Coroner Austin Fivash, there have been six deaths inside the prison between February and October of this year. Two homicides, three suicides and one of natural causes.

"I do think that it was a lot right there at the beginning, it seems to have slowed down a little bit, with only having one death after August," said Fivash.

Solice said Hann was supposed to be released next year.

Now, the Hann family looks to Anthony's 6-year-old son Gabriel to keep his memory alive.

"He was my everything, he changed my life completely around," said Solice.

Hann said that they will not stop searching for answers until someone is held accountable for the death of their loved one.

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