Death of Black Prosecutor Found On Florida Beach Ruled a Suicide

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James Beranton Whisenant Jr. joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office earlier this year. (Image courtesy of NBC Miami)

The death of a Florida prosecutor whose body was found on a Hollywood beach earlier this year has been ruled a suicide, the Hollywood Police Department announced Thursday, Aug. 10.

Detectives and the city medical examiner’s office concluded that James Beranton Whisenant Jr., a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, died of a self–inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The 37-year-old’s body was discovered near the edge of the water on May 24, local station WPTV reported.

Police initially suspected foul play because of the trauma to Whisenant’s head. Court documents showed that he’d been working on visa and passport fraud cases before his death. The prosecutor also taught a paralegal program at the University of Miami.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office family was deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Beranton’s death,” Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg said after Whisenant’s passing. “He was a great lawyer and wonderful colleague, and we will miss him deeply. Our thoughts are with Beranton’s family and friends.”

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