Union Parish inmate related to filmmaker Tyler Perry found dead

Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 2:52 PM CST
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An inmate at the Union Parish Detention Center, who was related to filmmaker Tyler Perry, was found dead Feb. 25, 2020, according to authorities.

Gavin Porter, 26, of Greensburg in St. Helena Parish, was found dead in his cell about 8:30 p.m. He died of an apparent suicide, according to Union Parish Sheriff's Office media liaison Johnny Gunter.

Porter was found a cell where he had been placed Saturday night after a fight involving several inmates, Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates said. The sheriff said no foul play is suspected.

Authorities say Porter was a state Department of Corrections inmate who was being held in Union Parish. Gates said Porter had pleaded guilty in April 2017 in 21st Judicial District Court at Amite in St. Helena Parish to a charge of manslaughter. He originally had been charged in October 2016 with second-degree murder, Gates said.

The sheriff did not have any additional information about the incident in which Porter was involved that resulted in his guilty plea.

Gates said Saturday night’s fight and Porter’s death are under investigation. Porter’s body was sent to Little Rock, Ark., for an autopsy.

Gunter says Porter was the nephew of Hollywood filmmaker Tyler Perry. The sheriff said Porter’s family has been notified.