TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBB) — An Alabama man who was convicted of trying to have sex with a teenager in Marianna is dead. Authorities said he killed himself Wednesday night while awaiting his sentencing.
Prison officials said he was discovered dead in his cell around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.
Law enforcement arrested 44-year-old Jason Earl Kirkland in May of last year.
Kirkland thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl in Marianna for a sexual encounter. But he had actually been communicating with an undercover Panama City Beach police officer on the internet.
A federal jury found him guilty Tuesday of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
Kirkland was being held in FCL Tallahassee, awaiting his sentencing on October 7.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Kirkland was facing a minimum of ten years or a maximum life sentence in prison.