Officials: Crawford County jail inmate takes own life

May 8—An inmate at the Crawford County Correctional Facility in Saegertown apparently hanged himself late Saturday afternoon in his jail cell, county officials confirmed Tuesday.

The death of Alexander R. Marvin, 28, of Titusville was from asphyxiation due to ligature hanging and is considered a suicide, according to Crawford County Coroner Eric Coston.

However, a final ruling on the manner of Marvin's death is pending toxicology results, Coston added.

Manner of death is the determination of what led to a death. The manners of death are: natural, accidental, suicide, homicide, pending investigation, and could not be determined. Pending investigation is there is no definitive evidence at the time to make a determination on the manner of death.

Toxicology testing is the sampling of tissue, blood and other body fluids to identify potential toxins in the body, including prescription medication and other drugs and substances.

Pennsylvania State Police and the Coroner's Office were contacted after Marvin was found hanging in his cell at 5:30 p.m. by a guard, Warden Jack Greenfield said Tuesday. The guard discovered Marvin while making making routine rounds, which are done every half-hour.

Marvin was not on suicide watch and was housed in a general population pod of the jail, Greenfield said.

A housing-pod concept has clusters of cells surrounding a great room where inmates may gather. The pods are locked and are observed and accessed by jail personnel in nearby control units.

"There was no indication made whatsoever of suicide ideation," Greenfield said.

Marvin attended a scheduled appointment Thursday with a mental health counselor at the jail.

"There was no indication (of suicide) before or after," Greenfield said.

The jail is stringent regarding suicide prevention. "Even if someone were to say something (regarding suicide) just to be moved, we put them in observation," Greenfield said.

Marvin had been housed in the county jail since Feb. 25 for parole violations, Greenfield said.

He was on parole after pleading guilty in three cases from Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, according to court records.

In December 2022, he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance charge filed by Pennsylvania State Police and guilty to a possession of drug paraphernalia charge filed by Titusville Police Department. In June 2023, he pleaded guilty to another possession of drug paraphernalia charge filed by Titusville police.

Gordon B. Garrett Funeral Home of Titusville is handling funeral arrangements for Marvin, whose death is the fifth jail-related suicide the past 10 and a half years.

In the early-morning hours of March 20, 2023, a woman in her 40s hanged herself in her cell with the death ruled a suicide. The woman had been screened for suicide upon her arrival per jail protocol, but she was not on suicide watch.

On Sept. 17, 2019, a 43-year-old inmate died at an Erie hospital from complications related to a suicide attempt he had made two days before. The man was not on suicide watch.

On March 18, 2016, a 34-year-old inmate hanged himself at the jail, and on Nov. 2, 2013, a 68-year-old inmate hanged himself. Both of those men were homicide suspects, but neither was on suicide watch and had given no prior indication of suicidal intentions.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at