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Tyler Perry Breaks His Silence on Tragic Death of Nephew Gavin Porter in Prison

Tyler Perry attends the premiere of Tyler Perry's A Fall from Grace at Metrograph, in New York on January 13, 2020. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Speaking out. Tyler Perry broke his silence regarding the tragic death of his nephew, Gavin Porter.

The filmmaker, 50, addressed the matter on Thursday, February 27, in a lengthy statement on Instagram. He began by explaining that he had hope that after his nephew served his 20-year sentence, he would turn his life around.

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“That day will never come. Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison. I say allegedly because unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong,” his statement read. “With that in mind, I have hired Dr. Michael Baden to do a second autopsy, and we are expecting the results soon. I want to be clear that we are not a family of conspiracy theorists, and we want to believe that there was no foul play, just as the sheriff stated publicly.”

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My Nephew Gavin Porter

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Porter was found dead in his prison cell at the Union Parish Detention Center in Farmerville, Louisiana, on Tuesday, February 25. His death is being considered an apparent suicide. He was 26.

Before Porter’s unexpected passing, he was involved in an altercation with another inmate on February 22, according to TMZ. Porter was placed in solitary confinement thereafter.

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No foul play is expected to be associated with the late inmate’s death.

Louisiana’s St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office reported in October 2016 that Porter was arrested on suspicion of killing his father, Gary Wayne Porter, CBS affiliate WAFB reported at the time. Officials stated that the death occurred after an argument between the father-son pair. The 54-year-old man was dead by the time police arrived.

Gavin, who was 22 at the time, was originally charged with second-degree murder in October 2016, but he pleaded guilty to the fatal shooting in April 2017, according to KNOE. He was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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Gavin is the son of Perry’s sister Melva Porter.

The Madea creator has opened up about past trauma within his family before. In 2009, he shared how he overcame the physical abuse he experienced from his father growing up.

“I was asked recently how I made it through all of this… and my answer to that is…I know for a fact that there is a GOD,” he wrote on his official website. “When my father would say or do those things to me, I would hear this voice inside of me say, ‘That’s not true’ or, ‘Don’t believe that.’”

Perry added, “To know that the little boy that I was went through all that — he went through and made it. Then me, as a man…I have to take on the responsibility of forgiving all of those people. I owe it to that little boy that I was and, more than that, I owe it to the man that I am.”

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