By Kevin Conlon and Martin Savidge, CNN
Cory Patterson, the Mississippi man accused of stealing a plane and threatening to crash it into a Walmart in September, died Monday while in federal custody, according to his attorney, Tony Farese and information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prisons.
Patterson, 29, was at the Federal Detention Center Miami in Florida when he became unresponsive at about 1:20 p.m. Monday, according to a press release from the Bureau of Prisons. Prison staff and responding paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but he was pronounced dead at the facility, according to BOP.
Patterson, who was not a licensed pilot, had pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny and making terrorist threats, CNN previously reported. He was charged with stealing a twin-engine plane from a regional airport in Tupelo, Mississippi, and calling 911 to say it was going to crash into a local Walmart.
The threat caused chaos in the city as officials rushed to evacuate the store and surrounding areas and close off major streets, police said. After Tupelo Police Department negotiators attempted to lead Patterson to the airport, he eventually landed back in a field and was arrested.
Patterson was sent to the Miami Detention Center for a psychological evaluation, which Farese requested in September, the lawyer told CNN.
Patterson arrived in Miami on Nov. 10 and died four days later, according to BOP, which did not yield a cause of death. Farese said Patterson died by suicide.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Marshals Service were notified of the death. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office told CNN Patterson’s death is still under investigation.
Farese said the BOP and FBI would investigate, as per protocol. An FBI spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an investigation into the matter, but acknowledged that the agency investigates the deaths of federal prisoners in custody as a practice.
Farese said he is working with the BOP to return Patterson’s body to his family in the Tupelo area.
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CNN’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.