After Gavin Porter was found dead from an apparent suicide in prison, Tyler Perry is hiring a medical examiner to look into the matter more closely. Porter was serving a 20-year sentence for fatally shooting his father in front of his mother -- who also happens to be the filmmaker's sister -- when he was found dead in his cell on Tuesday. Perry detailed his reasons for the investigation to TMZ.
"Call me naive, but it was my hope that after serving his time, and really reflecting and showing much remorse and asking God for forgiveness, that he would have been able to come to work for me, joining all the other former inmates who work for me and turn his life around just as they have. But that day will never come."
"I want to be clear that we are not a family of conspiracy theorists and want to believe that there was no foul play just as the sheriff said publicly," the filmmaker added.
A spokesperson for the Union Parish Sheriff's Office also told the outlet that there is "an active investigation at the prison's request."
"We are currently awaiting the results of an autopsy," the spokesperson continued. "The initial investigation did not suspect foul play. We are also conducting an investigation into the fight which occurred earlier and Porter's involvement in that incident. We respect the family's right to request another autopsy to be done. This is not an unusual request. We are continuing our investigation and awaiting autopsy results."
A later update indicated that the medical examiner later confirmed the findings of police, leaving Perry with the answers he was seeking.
"The answers don't take away grief, but it surely gives room for grieving to take its course," Perry said according to TMZ.
Over the weekend, Porter had gotten into an altercation with another inmate and was placed in solitary confinement. Guards reportedly checked in on him at 6 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, only to find him hanged with his bedsheet roughly two hours later. The peculiar circumstances are partially responsible for Perry's intervention.
Back in January, Perry was promoting his Netflix feature, A Fall From Grace, and appeared on the red carpet with co-star Cicely Tyson. While Perry joked that he needs to start moisturizing, the photo of the pair quickly went viral.
Around the same time, Perry also weighed in this year's round of Oscar snubs, particularly Jennifer Lopez's lack of a nomination for her work in the heist comedy Hustlers.
"I'm upset," Perry told TMZ at the time. "J. Lo didn't get nominated? Are you kidding me?"