Former Nacogdoches High School standout found hanging in jail cell, teachers remember him

By Donna McCollum - email

CONROE, TX (Nacogdoches note) – A Montgomery County jail inmate with ties to East Texas has been found dead, hanging in his cell from a bed sheet tied to the bars.

Authorities said 39-year old Earl Handy Jr, who was deaf and couldn't speak, was being housed in a segregation cell for medical reasons.  He was charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of his wife.

A tragic end to such a promising young man recalls those who knew Handy during his days at Nacogdoches High School.  In 1989, Handy received every honor there was as a senior at NHS.  Teachers expected big things from him.  Lisa Fuller remembers the former homecoming king, Mr. N-H-S, and football captain was tenacious and strong willed.

"He was just a kid that worked past any disability that he had and really didn't think anything about it. He just went on with his life and was filled with so much life. I think that's what makes it really, really sad," Fuller, Handy's former teacher, said.

"If he was backed into a corner he would fight his way out and I felt like that what happened to him and his family that, you know, it was one of those instances that he was backed into a corner and he had no way of getting out of it besides what he did and you know, and anything else, great young man," Coach Clarence McMichael said.

Texas Rangers are investigating Handy's death.  Sid Roberts Funeral Home in Nacogdoches is preparing for his burial.

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