WWE legend Brian Cristopher Lawler’s death has sparked an investigation, after he was found unconscious in his jail cell while allegedly being kept in ‘solitary confinement’.
The 46-year-old, who died in hospital on July 28th, was in custody after being arrested for driving under the influence, driving on a revoked licence and evading police earlier in the month.
Just one month earlier, Lawler’s downward spiral had begun after he was arrested for not having the funds to cover a hotel bill.
While the WWE community have mourned the loss of one of their favourite ever wrestlers, son of wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have decided to formally investigate circumstances around his death.
Despite facing fairly minor charges, Lawler was allegedly being kept in solitary confinement at Hardeman County Jail in Tennessee, according to his former WWE colleague Sean “X-Pac” Waltman.
Waltman took to Twitter to allege Lawler had been kept in solitary confinement for ‘almost a month’ during his time in jail, a claim refuted by a number of people on social media, but repeatedly backed up by Waltman.
One key area of contention was whether or not the simple fact Lawler was placed in a jail cell by himself, a fact confirmed by authorities, constituted ‘solitary confinement’.
I'm saddened beyond words by Brian's death. He & I were close during our time in WWE together. I have many great memories of Brian both inside the ring & out. No one but the most dangerous criminals should be kept in solitary confinement for almost a month. #RIPBrianChristopher pic.twitter.com/DSgAijvJtu
— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) July 31, 2018
“I’m saddened beyond words by Brian’s death,” Waltman wrote.
“He and I were close during our time in WWE together. I have many great memories of Brian both inside the ring and out.
“No one but the most dangerous criminals should be kept in solitary confinement for almost a month.”
He wasn't put in solitary confinement. He was kept seperate because of who he was for his safety. I realize being seperated is still rough but solitary confinement would mean he was locked in a cell for almost 24 hrs with no contact except guards and that's not the case.
— Jesse Kiestler (@JesseKiestler) July 31, 2018
“He wasn’t put in solitary confinement. He was kept seperate because of who he was for his safety,” Jesse Kiestler responded on Twitter.
Lawler’s famous wrestling father Jerry Lawler added further fuel to the flames, telling FOX13 radio, “there may be more to this than meets the eye”.
The jail’s local County Sheriff released a statement on Lawler’s death, saying there was ‘no indication he was suicidal’, and confirming Lawler was alone in his cell due to his ‘notoriety’.
“Mr. Lawler, a resident of Hardeman County, was arrested for third offense DUI, driving on a revoked driver’s license and felony evading arrest.
“Mr. Lawler’s bond was set at $40.000. He appeared before the Judge of the General Sessions Court at which time his family requested time to determine if they were going to hire a private attorney or wanted the public defender to represent Mr. Lawler.
“Mr. Lawler, because of his notoriety, was placed in a cell by himself but as the Sheriff’s Department had no indication he was suicidal, he was not on suicide watch.
“When Mr. Lawler was discovered, he was given CPR and air lifted to the MED in Memphis.
“The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was notified and requested to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Lawler. Any further information will be provided by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.”
— WWE (@WWE) July 31, 2018
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also released a statement detailing the events that occurred, and stating there was no indication of foul play.
“Preliminary information indicates the incident does not involve foul play. However, the investigation remains active and ongoing,” the statement read.