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TAMPA - A 33-year-old male inmate died Sunday night after he was found unresponsive at Falkenburg Road Jail, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
The inmate was found sitting on the floor of his cell. A jail deputy conducting a routine check found him at around 7 p.m., the sheriff's office said.
Sheriff's medical staff was called to the cell and the inmate was moved to the jail's medical facility. He was later taken to Brandon Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m., the sheriff's office said.
The inmate, whose name hasn't been released, was in jail on a felony battery charge. A court recently had ruled him mentally incompetent to stand trial. He was scheduled to be transferred to Florida State Hospital, the sheriff's office said.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office and sheriff's detectives will conduct a death investigation
ST. LOUIS • Courtland Lucas' family is convinced he still should be alive.
The 31-year-old collapsed from heart failure at the St. Louis Justice Center on May 25, 2009, five days after he was arrested for a probation violation. His family said he had been taken into custody because he missed a meeting with his probation officer. After he collapsed, he was transported to St. Louis University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Lucas had chronic heart disease and used a pacemaker. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed this month against the city and the jail's health care provider on behalf of Lucas' family, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri contends jail officials failed to provide Lucas with adequate medical care or the necessary medications to treat his condition.
"I'm just upset and angry because the system failed him," said one of Lucas' sisters, Landa Poke.
The private contractor that provides medical care at the jail says the lawsuit's version of how Lucas died has inaccuracies and insists its staff is "experienced and well-trained."
But ACLU officials in St. Louis say Lucas' death is the result of what they see as a series of breakdowns at city jails, including inadequate medical care.
"In this case, it was pretty clear to us that Courtland Lucas should not have died, did not deserve to die and probably should not have even been placed in the justice center in the first place," Redditt Hudson of the ACLU said.
In a March 2009 report, the ACLU alleged that inadequate medical attention was among myriad problems at the jail, including poor sanitation, a "culture of abuse" of inmates, sexual misconduct involving inmates and falsification of reports.
Since then, the ACLU and the city department of corrections have been collaborating to improve conditions, but the ACLU says some problems persist and an independent oversight panel is still needed to ensure policies are followed and inmates receive fair treatment.
Kara Bowlin, press secretary for Mayor Francis Slay, said city officials can't comment on pending litigation but released a statement saying, "While the city expresses its sorrow to Mr. Lucas' family, the city intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit and does not believe jail officials were responsible for Mr. Lucas' death."
Lucas was the youngest in a family of 14 children. He was the father of one child and had been a manager at a Popeye's restaurant. His siblings say he loved to joke around and write poetry. They say not long before his death he had written about his recommitment to God.
But Lucas' family also acknowledges that he struggled with drugs, including heroin. His criminal record included drug and traffic offenses, but nothing involving violence, his family and court records indicate.
Long before his run-ins with the law, he had struggled with heart problems. He had leaky heart valves and a heart murmur since childhood and had a series of surgeries in his teens, his family says. In the days before he was booked into the jail, he was weak and ill.
The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court, alleges jail officers failed to appropriately assess Lucas' medical condition upon his arrival at the facility and failed to "adequately and timely respond to his need for health care and treatment, thus resulting in his injury and death."
The suit asks for judgment in excess of $25,000 each from the city and Correctional Medical Services, the contractor that handles medical care at the jail.
Ken Fields, a spokesman for Correctional Medical Services, said in an e-mailed statement that the ACLU's version of what happened is inaccurate and will be addressed during the legal process. The company said it could not comment in detail because of patient confidentiality restrictions.
The statement also said the city jail "has an experienced and well-trained nursing staff on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ... Physicians are present at the center or on call at all times."
The Lucas family's suit is the second in recent years that alleges poor medical care at the jail proved fatal. In December 2008, the family of LaVonda Kimble, a 30-year-old woman who died at the jail, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against CMS. The family accuses the company of failing to accurately evaluate Kimble's medical condition or appropriately respond when she had an acute asthma attack on April 11, 2007.
That suit is still working its way through the courts.
October 27, 2010
BY MARCELLE HANEMANN
The Daily News
October 27, 2010
Authorities were notified of the death at the facility at 450 Bauchet St. about 5:03 a.m., said sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Thomas. The inmate was pronounced dead at the scene, and there were no signs of foul play, Thomas said.
No information was available on the victim’s name, age or the reason he was being held. The County Jail houses maximum-security inmates, those awaiting trial and inmates with medical conditions.
Broward County Jail Inmate Hangs Himself to Avoid Prison Time
By Staff Report Steven Smith, 24, hanged himself with a sheet, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office. No other information is available about the incident which is under investigation by the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Lebanon post, according to Julia Bush, WCI’s public information officer, Smith had been incarcerated at WCI since March 2007. According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections website, Smith was convicted in Hamilton County for involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence and was serving an 18-year sentence which also included a gun specification. The last suicide reported at WCI was Nov. 21, 2007, according to Julie Walburn, chief of the communications department for the state prison system. There have been two suicides reported in 2010 at the neighboring Lebanon Correctional Institution. Those occurred on Feb. 21 and on June 10, Walburn said. On Sept. 27, Nicholas Hawley hanged himself at the Warren County Jail while awaiting transfer to the state prison system, according to the county Sheriff’s Office. That incident also remains under investigation.
November 2, 2010
TURTLECREEK TWP. — An inmate from Cincinnati reportedly committed suicide Sunday at the Warren Correctional Institution.
Steven Smith, 24, hanged himself with a sheet, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office. No other information is available about the incident which is under investigation by the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Lebanon post, according to Julia Bush, WCI’s public information officer,
Smith had been incarcerated at WCI since March 2007.
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections website, Smith was convicted in Hamilton County for involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence and was serving an 18-year sentence which also included a gun specification.
The last suicide reported at WCI was Nov. 21, 2007, according to Julie Walburn, chief of the communications department for the state prison system. There have been two suicides reported in 2010 at the neighboring Lebanon Correctional Institution. Those occurred on Feb. 21 and on June 10, Walburn said.
On Sept. 27, Nicholas Hawley hanged himself at the Warren County Jail while awaiting transfer to the state prison system, according to the county Sheriff’s Office. That incident also remains under investigation.
Table 1. Number of local jail inmate deaths, by cause of death, 2000-2007
Number of local jail inmate deaths Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics
Cause of death
Table 1. Number of state prisoner deaths, by cause of death, 2001-2007
Number of state prisoner deaths Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics
Cause of death
November 04, 2010 Deputies say Kerrie Michelle Howard, 35, had been an inmate at the jail since March, when a judge revoked her bail on drug charges. While in jail Howard was charged with DUI manslaughter and other crimes for her alleged role in a 2009 crash that killed 25-year-old Derrick Jace Rogers. Howard was awaiting trial on those charges. Sheriff's deputies say Howard was found hanged in her cell just after midnight on Wednesday. A suicide note was found. The St. Lucie County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Howard died of asphyxiation.
By Daphne Duret
The Palm Beach Post
OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee County Jail inmate facing DUI manslaughter charges was found dead on Thursday from an apparent suicide, according to Okeechobee County Sheriff's deputies.
Deputies say Kerrie Michelle Howard, 35, had been an inmate at the jail since March, when a judge revoked her bail on drug charges.
While in jail Howard was charged with DUI manslaughter and other crimes for her alleged role in a 2009 crash that killed 25-year-old Derrick Jace Rogers. Howard was awaiting trial on those charges.
Sheriff's deputies say Howard was found hanged in her cell just after midnight on Wednesday. A suicide note was found. The St. Lucie County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Howard died of asphyxiation.
Nov 4, 2010
By Bea Karnes
News First 5
An inmate died at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center early Thursday morning. An autopsy performed a few hours later did not find a cause of death. Toxicology tests are pending.
El Paso County Sheriff's Lt. Lari Sevene said, "Ricardo Rafel Grimaldo, age 20, was initially reported by his cellmate who was awoken by sounds of Mr. Grimaldo coughing and choking. He observed Grimaldo immediately rolling off of his bed to the floor. Medical personnel from CJC were immediately on scene and began providing life saving measures as Mr. Grimaldo was unresponsive. Continued life saving efforts were performed by CSFD and AMR while he was transported to Memorial Hospital. Mr. Grimaldo died at 5:37 a.m. at Memorial Hospital. "
Grimaldo has been in jail since Aug. 22. He was arrested for burglary and theft.
NEW CASTLE — A suicide in the county jail last week has officials looking at how to prevent inmate deaths.
Warden Brian Covert told the Lawrence County Prison Board yesterday that the New Castle police report on the incident matches the results of an internal investigation by jail staff and prison board members.
Covert said the jail and police are still waiting for the coroner’s report, which will contain toxicology test information.
Kathleen Ann Rogan, 31, of Slippery Rock Township, was found hanging in her booking area cell from a knotted bed sheet the morning of Oct. 11.
She had been admitted Oct. 7 and placed on suicide watch until Oct. 10, when she was evaluated by the jail’s doctor and nurse and cleared for 30-minute checks instead.
Prison board president David Getting said county officials are looking at what could have been done or what they need to do to prevent other incidents.
“If someone wants to take that kind of step, it’s difficult to prevent it.”
He said he had contacted the woman’s parents to offer his condolences and they have hired an attorney.
After the meeting, he said the attorney is Philip Berezniak of Ellwood City. However, Berezniak would not confirm or deny he is representing Rogan’s family.
Amy Lamb, a county resident who attended the board meeting, tearfully insisted on knowing details about who had admitted Rogan to the jail that night and whether she had first been treated at a hospital.
“We all pay taxes and I have a right to know.” She asked why no one was watching her cell.
“I’m upset about it too,” Gettings told her.
He explained Rogan did not commit suicide the night she was booked, but a few days later, after evaluation.
“The issue is, what did we do when we got her, in terms of her condition,” he said, adding, “We take this very seriously ... and we’re trying to make sure that ... it doesn’t happen again. We’re there to protect (the inmates) from themselves and from something else.”
He said Rogan was still alive when a corrections officer found her and cut her down.
“It’s not possible in this jail or in any other jail to watch them 24-7,” Gettings added.
Covert explained Rogan had been placed on suicide watch when she entered the jail because when she was in medical intake, “she triggered.”
He explained after the meeting that upon admittance, the inmates are asked several questions and graded on responses and on their history. If they score above a certain number, they automatically are placed under suicide watch.
That means someone checks on them every 15 minutes, he explained, and they sleep on a special mattress that is like a sleeping bag.
When someone is taken off suicide watch, he or she is taken off that mattress and assigned to a regular jail bed.
“I don’t think anyone understands why people do certain things,” he said, adding, “It’s a tragic event for everyone involved.”
“I’ve been told if someone is bent on doing this, they have a 95 percent chance of succeeding,” Gettings added.
Covert told Lamb the jail officials are reviewing the policies to see if they can correct the problems of inmates trying to hurt themselves.
Gary Mitchell, who provides Bible study for the inmates, asked what the legality is of the county placing observation cameras in the booking area.
“They could prevent things like this.”
Ladell O'Connell, 33, died about 11 a.m. at San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he was placed on a ventilator following the incident, Detention Center Administrator Tom Havel said.
He was charged Oct. 26, 2009, with aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, both fourth-degree felonies, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer and driving on a suspended or revoked license, both misdemeanors. He also was charged with eight traffic violations, including reckless driving, according to the state website, www.nmcourts.gov.
Deputies responded to the jail about 1:45 a.m. Saturday to find O'Connell hanging in his cell, which was located in the medical wing of the detention center, Sheriff's Lt. Dwayne Faverino said.
O'Connell's wrists also had superficial cuts on them and deputies continue to investigate what was used to cut them, Faverino said.
Detention center personnel took O'Connell to the hospital on Friday for "agitated behavior," but he was released by the hospital and returned to the jail.
"The jail staff said his behavior returned to normal after the hospital visit," Faverino reported.
O'Connell pleaded not guilty in December 2009, and in September, nearly one year later, was ordered to the Las Vegas Medical Center for treatment to attain competency to stand trial.
Sheriff's detectives discovered a suicide note in the cell, which stated how he tried to commit suicide seven times before Saturday's incident, but this time he combined his two previous attempts of hanging and cutting his wrists, Faverino said.
This is the 10th fatality in the facility in the past decade, Havel said.
Six people died by suicide and three died from injuries.
"It's tragic on everybody," Havel said. "We take it all seriously."
The detention center employs a crisis intervention specialist, a psychologist and a master's degree-level social worker, he said.
"Any time a person is arrested, it brings a flood of anxiety and emotions," Havel said.
Detectives continue to investigate the incident.
November 5, 2010
STERLING - A prisoner, who Denver Police said Wednesday has been linked by DNA to two sexual assaults more than 10 years ago, has been found dead inside his cell at the Sterling Correctional Center.
Investigators tell 9Wants to Know he committed suicide.
A Department of Corrections spokesperson could not confirm how he died but says DOC is not investigating the death as suspicious.
Carey died about 1:20 p.m.
9Wants to Know aired a story Wednesday which detailed allegations that Michael Carey, 51, forced a 15-year-old to perform a sex act on him after picking her up on Lincoln Street near downtown on Dec. 1, 1997.
Denver Police say DNA linked Carey to that crime this year.
A department spokesman also said DNA linked Carey to the sexual assault of a woman near Quincy and Wadsworth on April 2, 1998. The victim says a man hit her with his car, forced her inside his vehicle and made her perform a sex act.
At one point during the alleged assault, the victim says the suspect had to move his vehicle because he thought someone was coming.
Denver Police asked the Denver District Attorney's Office to file two counts of first degree sex assault and one count of second degree kidnapping.
Department spokesman Lt. Matthew Murray told 9Wants to Know the department has strong reason to believe the suspect victimized other people before he was sent to prison in 2000.
A member of his family told 9Wants to Know Thursday that she does not believe the allegations.
"He was a good person. What the police said about him wasn't true," family member Elaine Lotito said.
Lotito said before he went to prison he often did chores for elderly people in his neighborhood near W 62nd Ave. & Federal Blvd.
DOC records show Carey was in prison after drug, theft and menacing convictions. A Denver Police Department spokesman told 9Wants to Know that Carey had assaulted a police officer in Adams County.
SAGINAW -- Michigan State Police are looking into what investigators are calling a suspicious death at a Mid-Michigan prison.
An inmate was found unconscious in his Saginaw Correctional Facility cell Tuesday morning. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
The cause of death is an overdose of an illicit drug.
Investigators are trying to determine two things: How the inmate was injected with the illegal drug and how the drug got into the prison in the first place.
The Department of Corrections confirms 22-year-old Brian Goodricke of Clio is the inmate who was found unconscious in his Level 2 cell Tuesday morning.
Goodricke was in prison on breaking and entering and drug convictions. An autopsy indicates he died from an overdose of an illicit drug, possibly heroin.
It's believed Goodricke injected himself or someone else injected him with the drug via a syringe, but one was not found in his prison cell.
"We are vigilant against all the ways that people may try to bring drugs into correction facilities," said John Cordell of the Department of Corrections.
Cordell says it's very rare that an inmate dies from a drug overdose inside a prison. Goodricke was a Level 2 prisoner, a low security risk and would have been able to have contact with visitors.
If investigators can find out who brought the drugs into the prison, it's possible that person or persons could face homicide charges.
"There is the possibility where drugs could get passed from a visitor to a prisoner in a visiting room," Cordell said. "We utilize staff assets to make sure that doesn't happen."
"It's unfortunate, but it can happen," said Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel.
Federspiel says people have tried to smuggle drugs into the county jail.
"We only have so many resources, and I know in Freeland, they only have so many resources," he said.
"We don't have enough corrections officers in the prison," said State Rep. Ken Horn.
"We are spending millions of dollars in substance abuse programs inside of our corrections system. There is no reason in the world that drugs should be passing through our jail system."
The Michigan State Police Department is investigating.
Jail inmate commits suicide
JUNEAU, Wisconsin — A 45-year-old Watertown man killed himself in the Dodge County Jail last week. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls said Kerry Sayles was pronounced dead Saturday at University Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Jail workers found Sayles hanging from a torn bed sheet in his jail cell around 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 12. Sayles was still alive when jail staff checked on him at 11:42 a.m., Nehls said. "I would describe (Sayles) as being very determined," Nehls said. "And if you're determined to take your life, you'll find a way to execute that plan and be successful." Security staff immediately began resuscitative efforts on Sayles, who still had a pulse when he was transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital and later to Madison. While staff has thwarted numerous suicide attempts by inmates over the years, this is the first successful suicide in the facility since it opened in 2001, Nehls said. The jail houses nearly 500 inmates. Security staff at the Dodge County Jail perform rounds to visually check on inmates every 40 minutes. Those identified with emotional or suicidal tendencies are placed on suicide observation status and are physically checked every 15 minutes. Many of those holding cells are also equipped with cameras, Nehls said. "We had no reason to believe that (Sayles) was suicidal when he was taken into custody a month ago on a probation and parole violation," Nehls said. Sayles was placed in the Dodge County Jail Oct. 22 after he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of resisting and obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. "This wasn't the first time he had been booked into our facility," Nehls said. Despite diligent efforts of staff, some inmates manage to elude detection and are able to carry out a suicide, said Deputy Chief Mark Strand of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department. Strand was the jail administrator at the Fond du Lac County Jail in 2001 when inmate James E. Taylor committed suicide in his jail cell. The accused rapist was found hanging in his cell with the ripped out elastic cord of his jail pants tied around his neck. At the time, Taylor was being held in a cell in the old part of the jail where inmates were still able to turn lights off and on in their respective cells, Strand said. "He had planned on doing this, and had shut the lights off. And before the officer could get to him, (Taylor) had succeeded," Strand said of the facility's only inmate suicide. Following Taylor's death, Strand said the Sheriff's Department conducted an internal investigation and invited inspectors from the Criminal Investigation unit of the state Department of Justice and facilities inspectors from the Department of Corrections to perform independent investigations. "We had all sorts of checks and balances. And even though a lot of things are done, policies are followed and the staff does a terrific job with all the responsibilities they have, those things (suicide) can still happen and do happen," Strand said. In the wake of Sayles' death, Nehls said an investigation is under way to review policies and procedures at the jail. "I think that's a natural thing for any department to do, especially when you have a catastrophic event like this," Nehls said. "And to us it's a catastrophic event. We want people to understand that if your loved one or family member is incarcerated in our facility, that they're safe and secure and that nothing will happen to them."
Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls said Kerry Sayles was pronounced dead Saturday at University Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Jail workers found Sayles hanging from a torn bed sheet in his jail cell around 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 12. Sayles was still alive when jail staff checked on him at 11:42 a.m., Nehls said.
"I would describe (Sayles) as being very determined," Nehls said. "And if you're determined to take your life, you'll find a way to execute that plan and be successful."
Security staff immediately began resuscitative efforts on Sayles, who still had a pulse when he was transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital and later to Madison.
While staff has thwarted numerous suicide attempts by inmates over the years, this is the first successful suicide in the facility since it opened in 2001, Nehls said. The jail houses nearly 500 inmates.
Security staff at the Dodge County Jail perform rounds to visually check on inmates every 40 minutes. Those identified with emotional or suicidal tendencies are placed on suicide observation status and are physically checked every 15 minutes. Many of those holding cells are also equipped with cameras, Nehls said.
"We had no reason to believe that (Sayles) was suicidal when he was taken into custody a month ago on a probation and parole violation," Nehls said.
Sayles was placed in the Dodge County Jail Oct. 22 after he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of resisting and obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.
"This wasn't the first time he had been booked into our facility," Nehls said.
Despite diligent efforts of staff, some inmates manage to elude detection and are able to carry out a suicide, said Deputy Chief Mark Strand of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department.
Strand was the jail administrator at the Fond du Lac County Jail in 2001 when inmate James E. Taylor committed suicide in his jail cell. The accused rapist was found hanging in his cell with the ripped out elastic cord of his jail pants tied around his neck.
At the time, Taylor was being held in a cell in the old part of the jail where inmates were still able to turn lights off and on in their respective cells, Strand said.
"He had planned on doing this, and had shut the lights off. And before the officer could get to him, (Taylor) had succeeded," Strand said of the facility's only inmate suicide.
Following Taylor's death, Strand said the Sheriff's Department conducted an internal investigation and invited inspectors from the Criminal Investigation unit of the state Department of Justice and facilities inspectors from the Department of Corrections to perform independent investigations.
"We had all sorts of checks and balances. And even though a lot of things are done, policies are followed and the staff does a terrific job with all the responsibilities they have, those things (suicide) can still happen and do happen," Strand said.
In the wake of Sayles' death, Nehls said an investigation is under way to review policies and procedures at the jail.
"I think that's a natural thing for any department to do, especially when you have a catastrophic event like this," Nehls said. "And to us it's a catastrophic event. We want people to understand that if your loved one or family member is incarcerated in our facility, that they're safe and secure and that nothing will happen to them."
Authorities looking to toxicology tests after autopsy can't determine cause.
November 19, 2010
By NICK BONHAM
Pueblo, Colorado - Results of toxicology tests likely could explain how a 42-year-old woman died Wednesday in Pueblo County jail.
Results of an autopsy performed Thursday on Kerry Denise Davis did not determine her exact cause of death, Pueblo County Coroner James Kramer said.
"It didn't show any trauma, no injuries, no hemorrhage. We will have to wait for toxicology (results) for a final determination of cause and manner of death," Kramer said.
Davis, aka Cox, died early Wednesday inside the jail's intake facility.
She was arrested Sunday and was recently placed on suicide watch after making remarks to harm herself, Sheriff Kirk Taylor said.
Suicidal inmates are often placed in the intake area for observation.
Sheriff Kirk Taylor said Davis' death, which was investigated by the 10th Judicial District's Critical Incident Team, appears to be a result of a medical issue.
Taylor said jail staff were aware she had a medical problem and were treating her accordingly.
Davis was arrested on a misdemeanor theft warrant stemming from a 2008 incident where she, her husband and son stole tools and equipment from Sears, according to court documents.
The CIT group is tasked with probing in-custody deaths and serious incidents involving local law enforcement.
Associated Press - November 23, 2010
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Corrections says Ramsey County jailers failed to properly monitor an inmate who strangled himself while in custody.
Fifty-5-year-old Patrick McHugh was accused of killing his sister, brother-in-law and niece July 16 at their St. Paul home. He killed himself Aug. 20 in his Ramsey County Jail cell.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the DOC's review of jail standards concluded jailers failed to check on McHugh every 30 minutes as required by state law.
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department did not comment on the DOC's review.
November 27, 2010
Rochester, New York
Aaron J. Shehu, 17, was discovered unconscious, hanging in his jail cell by a Corrections Officer making routine rounds at the Yates County jail shortly after midnight Saturday.
Police say Shehu had a bedsheet tied around his neck and then to the bars of his cell.
Officers at the jail deployed emergency, life-saving measures on Shehu until the arrival of the Penn Yann Volunteer Ambulance, but the inmate was pronounced dead at the Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Penn Yann at 1:15 a.m.
The NYS Commission of Corrections requires an autopsy to be conducted for any in-custody death that occurs in a correction facility.
There is currently no evidence of foul play in the death, and the investigation is continuing.
The attack occurred about 1:30 p.m. at the jail on Front Street, and the victim died about an hour later at UCSD Medical Center, the county Medical Examiner’s Office said.
The name of the inmate who was killed was not released. The Medical Examiner’s Office said he was a 46-year-old man from Kingsburg, in the Fresno area.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives investigated but did not release any details about the incident.
November 15, 2010
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. -- A San Quentin inmate accused of fatally stabbing a serial DUI offender who killed a 9-year-old girl and maimed her father in a crosswalk last year was arrested in prison Monday, the Marin County District Attorney's Office said.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Linda Tomasini said a guard doing routine checks found Mark Montoya, 22, hanging in his cell by a bed sheet just before 1 a.m.
The guard summoned help and cut Montoya down, according to a department news release. Medical staff conducted CPR, but Montoya was pronounced dead in his cell at 1:35 a.m. Monday.
Montoya was not on suicide precautions but had requested and was granted protective custody, which means a guard would escort him to and from his cell, Tomasini said.
According to First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg, Montoya was indicted for aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2008 in connection with an incident that took place in December of 2007. The victim of the sexual assault, a girl who was then 12, told San Antonio police she and Montoya met on a phone chat line, Herberg said. According to police, the girl asked Montoya to pick her up and the two had sexual intercourse at his grandmother's house.
Her father saw Montoya drop her off at her home and chased him, officials said. The girl told an acquaintance about the sexual encounter and police were notified.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Linda Tomasini said a guard doing routine checks found Mark Montoya, 22, hanging in his cell by a bed sheet just before 1 a.m.
A grand jury indicted Montoya and he was arrested in April of 2008. He was out on bail until he pleaded guilty on Nov. 16 and was sentenced to eight years in jail. The next day, he asked for protective custody, Tomasini said.
“He had requested to be assigned to protective custody because of his charge ... because inmates will find out, particularly in a case of an aggravated sexual assault,” she said.
According to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the Bexar County Jail is in compliance with state law. As is policy, Bexar County Jail officials notified the state commission about the death Monday morning.
Five inmates committed suicide in the jail last year, the Express-News has reported. That total was more than three times the national average. As a result of the spike, Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz requested a national suicide prevention expert visit the jail and conduct a study to determine which, if any, policies or practices should be changed.
December 2, 2010
Richmond, Virginia --
A female Richmond City Jail inmate has died.
Janice Motto, 49, became unresponsive Tuesday night as she was being prepared for transport to the hospital after she had been showing "signs of unusual behavior," according to a news release issued yesterday afternoon by Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr.
On Nov. 16, Motto was turned over to the Richmond Jail from another jail to serve a sentence for charges of petit larceny and prostitution, said city sheriff's Maj. Jerry Baldwin.
The Sheriff's Office said an autopsy and investigation into the death are under way and that there was no indication of foul play.
Jail inmate complaining of illness dies in Waterloo
Waterloo, Iowa. — A Black Hawk County Jail inmate died today after reporting that he felt ill, authorities said.
Justin Ray Johnson, 18, of Waterloo told a deputy at about 2 p.m. that he wasn't feeling well, according to a news release from the county sheriff's office. The deputy called an ambulance after seeing Johnson was having trouble breathing.
Johnson died at Allen Hospital in Waterloo. He had been held on an aggravated assault charge since Nov. 9.
The sheriff's office said the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been contacted for an independent investigation.
SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. -- A Sonoma County jail inmate died Sunday morning after he complained of having difficulty breathing, a Sonoma County sheriff's lieutenant said.
Brian Leonard Gittings, 44, of Santa Rosa, told a correctional deputy at 4:20 a.m. that he was struggling to breathe, Lt. Steve Brown said.
The deputy called for medical assistance but Gittings' condition worsened and he was given CPR, Brown said.
Paramedics arrived and continued CPR, and Gittings was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa where he was pronounced dead at 5:19 a.m. Sunday.
On Nov. 25, Gittings had been taken to Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa after complaining of abdominal pain, Brown said. He was evaluated at the hospital and then returned to the jail, Brown said.
Gittings was in custody on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and violation of probation.
An autopsy is scheduled for this morning.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The death of a Stearns County Jail inmate appears to be suicide.
Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold says 28-year-old Kyle Allan Baxter-Jensen died of apparently self-inflicted cuts.
Baxter-Jensen was found dead shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday. He was under observation because of concerns about previous incidents that the chief deputy would not comment on.
The St. Cloud Times reports Baxter-Jensen was booked into jail in November on a DWI charge. The sheriff's office is investigating.
December 12, 2010
SACRAMENTO,CA - An inmate was found dead inside of his Sacramento County jail cell Sunday morning, according to authorities.
The 46-year-old inmate, whose name was not released, was found unresponsive just after 10 a.m., said Sgt. Tim Curran with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The jail's medical staff as well as fire department paramedics performed CPR on the man, but were unsuccessful. Curran said the inmate was pronounced dead at 10:32 a.m.
Investigators said the death does not appear suspicious. The man had been in custody since Aug. 22, facing charges of resisting arrest, burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property and evading a peace officer by driving in a reckless manner, said Curran.
The 46-year-old inmate, whose name was not released, was found unresponsive just after 10 a.m., said Sgt. Tim Curran with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The jail's medical staff as well as fire department paramedics performed CPR on the man, but were unsuccessful. Curran said the inmate was pronounced dead at 10:32 a.m.
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Departmant will conduct a thorough inmate-death investigation in accordance with department procedures and state laws.
An inmate was found dead Monday morning at the Fulton County Jail (Georgia), authorities said.
Fulton County sheriff's spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan said the 33-year-old man told officials he was homeless when he was booked into the jail on a criminal trespassing charge earlier this month.
She said the inmate "was chronically ill, and deputies had been checking on him through the night."
Just before 6:30 a.m., he was discovered deceased.
The inmate's name is being withheld until relatives are notified.
In California a Tehama County Jail inmate died in custody Wednesday less than two hours after he was arraigned on charges of rape by force or fear and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant or child.
Tehama County Superior Court records show William Joseph Costa, 30, of Red Bluff was arraigned at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and according to a Tehama County Sheriff 's press release Costa was found hanging from a sheet tied to the bars of his single cell about 3 p.m.
Officers immediately responded to an alert by an inmate of the situation, placing Costa on the floor and beginning CPR with assistance from jail medical staff, the release said.
Costa, who had been arrested by Red Bluff Police at 9:33 a.m. Monday at the Golden Crest Mobile Home Park, was taken to St. Elizabeth Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Costa had been cleared for incarceration and had not shown any type of distress during a security check at 2:03 p.m., the release said.
The incident, which involved a 31-year-old woman, was initially reported at 9:13 a.m. Monday as a disturbance, said Sgt. Michael Graham. Red Bluff Police logs show someone reported that the victim told them she had been thrown down and choked.
Costa and the victim have two children in common, a 1- year-old and a 5- month-old, both of whom were home at the time of the incident, Graham said. The 5- month-old was in a crib in the living room where the incident took place.
A Milwaukee County Jail inmate apparently committed suicide Saturday, the sheriff's office reported.
As other inmates watched, the 44-year-old man leaped from a mezzanine about 7 a.m. on Christmas morning, the sheriff's office said in a news release. Deputies tried to revive him until Fire Department personnel arrived and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m., the sheriff's office said.
The inmate was being held on $10,000 bail on charges of sexual assault of a child. The sheriff's office is investigating the incident.
December 22, 2010
A 54-year-old Abilene man was pronounced dead at 6:05 a.m. Friday morning at the Taylor County Jail after jailers found him unresponsive, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a news release Wednesday.
Daven Jon Ellis had been in jail since his arrest in August on suspicion of possessing child pornography, and “was in a single cell by himself” when found by jailers, said Sgt. John Cummins of the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re not giving any detail on the cause of death at this point until the autopsy comes back,” Cummins said. The sheriff’s office has asked the Texas Rangers to assist in the investigation, as is commonplace for deaths of people in custody of authorities. The Texas Rangers are a part of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Barbara Anderson, a sister of Ellis who lives near Buffalo, N.Y., said she learned of her brother’s death from Ellis’ parole officer.
“I was told that he was found when he was checked right at 5:18, before chow,” Anderson said. “They found him in his cell and it appeared to be self-inflicted wounds, but he didn’t elaborate on what that was.”
She noted that her brother died on his birthday.
Cummins said he had no information about why Ellis was in a cell alone or if Ellis was under heightened supervision compared to the general jail population.
The death is the seventh since 2005 involving an inmate in custody of the Taylor County Jail, including four deaths in 2005, according to the Texas attorney general’s office.
Most recently, an inmate died in September 2009 as the result of a perforated ulcer that became infected; another inmate died in March 2008 from a combination of diabetes, renal failure and internal bleeding.
The jail has about 460 inmates, Cummins said.
Some have criticized jail conditions, including a former volunteer jail chaplain who has sued Sheriff Les Bruce, alleging retaliation after being barred from visiting the jail to speak with inmates. The lawsuit by outspoken critic Lance Voorhees remains pending in U.S. Federal District Court in Abilene.
Anderson said she has read the jail criticism online and is frustrated by a lack of information provided to her about the investigation.
Anderson said she was promised access to the final autopsy report, but she said she wanted more information now.
“If there’s nothing to hide, then why can’t they tell me things?” Anderson said. “The way I’m thinking, if it was just cut-and-dry then why can’t they give me the information, a copy of the preliminary autopsy?”
In the news release, the DPS said a final autopsy report from the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office could take as long as two months.
A police affidavit states that “numerous pictures of nude children” were found on Ellis’ cell phone after Abilene police executed a search warrant on Ellis’ apartment.
Ellis had served a long stint in prison earlier, Anderson noted. In 1985, a Taylor County jury convicted Ellis of burglarizing a U.S. Naval Reserve Center in Abilene, sentencing Ellis to 30 years in prison.
Anderson, 46, said she hadn’t seen her brother in person in about 15 years, but they spoke occasionally by phone, most recently in March.
She said her brother had grown children but no relationship with them. He was close to a longtime girlfriend who lives in New York, Anderson said.
She said she was surprised to learn of his arrest on suspicion of possessing child pornography and wondered if someone else could have used her brother’s phone. She recalled his reaction about 30 years ago when she told him she had been sexually abused by her father, Ellis’ stepfather.
“He wanted to come up here and kill him,” Anderson said, adding that “anything to do with hurting a kid, it sickened him.”
As children in New York, “we grew up in a very, very abusive home, and he pretty much got the worst of it,” Anderson said.
Answers In Taylor County Jail Inmate Death
December 27, 2010 December 28, 2010 Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Haferman says the man was 30-year-old Clint James Tourbier of Watertown. The deputy says Tourbier was found unresponsive Sunday evening. Emergency responders weren't able to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the jail. Haferman says the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be asphyxia due to hanging. Haferman says the inmate was booked into jail Wednesday for felony charges of third-degree sexual assault and bail jumping, as well as misdemeanor battery. Tourbier was being held without bond pending a court hearing Tuesday. The deputy says Tourbier was not under any type of special watch.
JEFFERSON, Wis. -- A Jefferson County Jail inmate has committed suicide. It's the second inmate suicide at the facility this year.
Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Haferman said a guard discovered the 31-year-old Watertown man in the jail at 7 p.m. Sunday. The man was not in his cell, but in another part of the jail.
The man's name is being withheld until relatives are notified. The death remains under investigation.
Haferman told the Watertown Daily Times another suicide was committed at the jail in January. He said that before this year, it had been eight to 10 years since an inmate committed suicide.
More to the story..........
Jail Inmate Identified in Apparent Suicide
JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) -- Jefferson County authorities have identified the inmate who died of an apparent suicide over the weekend.
December 28, 2010
Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Haferman says the man was 30-year-old Clint James Tourbier of Watertown.
The deputy says Tourbier was found unresponsive Sunday evening. Emergency responders weren't able to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the jail.
Haferman says the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be asphyxia due to hanging.
Haferman says the inmate was booked into jail Wednesday for felony charges of third-degree sexual assault and bail jumping, as well as misdemeanor battery. Tourbier was being held without bond pending a court hearing Tuesday.
The deputy says Tourbier was not under any type of special watch.
Inmate beaten to death
December 30, 2010
An inmate awaiting sentencing on a rape and kidnapping conviction died Wednesday evening at Benefis Health System after an attempted suicide Monday afternoon.
Deputy Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki confirmed that Phillip J. Humeyumptewa died sometime Wednesday evening after spending two days in the intensive care unit at Benefis in critical condition. He was declared brain dead, according to the county attorney's office.
Humeyumptewa was found Monday unconscious in his cell some eight minutes after a guard at the jail had checked on him. The inmate hanged himself with a bed sheet and was transported to the emergency room after jail staff and emergency responders managed to restore his heart beat.
Humeyumptewa suffered cardiac arrest as a result of the hanging. A motion filed by the County Attorney's Office Tuesday stated that Humeyumptewa was brain dead. The state moved to release Humeyumptewa on his own recognizance and stated that the his end-of-life decisions were to made by his family.
Humeyumptewa was convicted in September in the kidnapping and rape of a woman in Great Falls last year. He was in the jail awaiting sentencing, which was set for Jan. 20.
December 28, 2010
A Woodland man who bit a CHP officer while resisting arrest has committed suicide at the Monroe Detention Center.
Juan Antonio Bravo Lopez, 19, died of asphyxia by hanging Sunday evening, said Yolo County Chief Deputy Coroner Robert LaBrash. He was found at 5:10 p.m. in the jail and transported to Woodland Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead.
LaBrash said Bravo Lopez was not under any special watch, such as a suicide watch.
Bravo Lopez has family in the area although his mother lives in Mexico, LaBrash said.
California Highway Patrol said Bravo Lopez was arrested at 8:07 p.m. Friday after he tried to evade officers by foot and car and eventually fought an officer and bit a California Highway Patrol sergeant.
Bravo Lopez was observed speeding westbound on County Road 31 west of CR-95 at 89 miles per hour, the CHP reported. A traffic stop was then initiated as Bravo Lopez attempted to flee the scene, driving at a high speed with his lights off.
After driving almost a mile to Russell Boulevard, Bravo Lopez stopped on his own as an arrest was attempted. He fought with an officer and attempted to run away, according to CHP, and force was used to try and gain compliance.
Bravo Lopez refused to comply and continued to resist arrest, fleeing on foot. The CHP said a woman driving a green Jeep stopped because Bravo Lopez was in the road. Bravo tried to enter the Jeep from the passenger side. The woman fled eastbound on Russell Boulevard.
Several CHP and Winters units assisted in making the arrest.
When Bravo Lopez was eventually transported to Sutter General Hospital for medical clearance, he continued to struggle with officers and bit a CHP sergeant in the upper arm, CHP said.
Bravo Lopez was later booked into the Yolo County Jail on charges of resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and carjacking. An investigation is ongoing regarding his suicide.
The last Yolo County Jail inmate to commit suicide was David Bradley Van Buren on June 5. The Davis transient used a bed sheet to commit suicide at the Monroe Detention Center. He died of asphyxiation from hanging one day before his 34th birthday.
Van Buren had been arrested June 3 at the Motel 6 in Davis for intoxication which was in violation of his parole. His parole was from a 2008 felony charge of theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle.
December 28, 2010
SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) - Sallisaw County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says it appears a 36-year-old jail inmate died after suffering a heart attack while in custody.
Inmate David Dewayne Collins died Saturday at the county jail. Lockhart tells the Southwest Times Record that preliminary indication from the Oklahoma state Medical Examiner's office indicates that Collins had a heart attack.
Lockhart says an inmate in the cell with Collins told authorities that Collins had complained of being light-headed and hot before collapsing about 1:30 p.m. Lockhart says jail staff members had checked on both inmates about 15 minutes before Collins collapsed.
Collins was convicted of arson and first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 22 death of 20-year-old Shannon Southern. Her body was found by firefighters at her Muldrow home. An autopsy determined she had been shot.
December 30, 2010
By Heartland News
BALLARD COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old inmate of the Ballard County Detention Center.
Desmond Dunlow of LaCenter died Thursday after he was found unresponsive in the jail.
He was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. by the McCracken County Coroner.
The coroner says preliminary autopsy results found no trauma and the cause of death is undetermined due to a possible medical situation.
January 3, 2011
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An inmate was found dead in her Orange County jail cell less than a day after her arrest on suspicion of drug possession.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department reported Monday that 46-year-old Cynthia Kaye Drury was found unresponsive in a single-person cell in Santa Ana on New Year’s Eve.
The department says the Norwalk woman was arrested a day earlier by Anaheim police on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance.
The cause of death was not immediately reported. A message seeking comment was left with the Sheriff’s Department.
A message was left with the district attorney’s office, which is investigating the death.
January 5, 2011
AKRON, Ohio --
Authorities in Ohio say an inmate who apparently jumped from a second-floor ledge in a suicide attempt has died.
An autopsy is planned Wednesday on the body of 51-year-old Michael O'Neill of Akron.
He apparently jumped Sunday over a Summit County jail ledge to a concrete floor one level down. He died late Tuesday.
The Akron Beacon Journal says the man told officials he was trying to kill himself.
He was locked up Friday on charges of criminal trespassing and being drunk and disorderly.
January 6, 2011
The Augusta Chronicle
An inmate appears to have committed suicide at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on Phinizy Road between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent in Charge Mike Ayers.
Ayers said the inmate, whose name was not released, committed suicide within a 10 to 15 minute window while deputies handed out prescription medications for the night. He couldn't go into specifics while the investigation is ongoing, but said the inmate hanged himself using items in his cell that were not contraband.
An autopsy and toxicology results will indicate for sure whether the inmate committed suicide, Ayers said.
An Escambia County Jail inmate has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the death of fellow inmate.
Brandon Ryan Switzer, 32, is charged in connection to the Dec. 17 death of Jon Gipson, another inmate.
Investigators say Switzer took food from Gipson and punched him in the face, causing him to fall backward onto the floor. Gipson subsequently died from his injuries.
An autopsy performed by the medical examiner’s office determined that Gipson died from blunt force trauma to the head, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Welborn said in a news release.
Switzer was in jail on a revoked bond for previous charges of battery, kidnapping, vehicle theft, failure to appear and numerous traffic offenses.
Those charges stemmed from a Dec. 1 altercation with his girlfriend.
Switzer was accused of battery on his girlfriend before stealing her vehicle, which was occupied by the woman’s infant. Switzer later wrecked the car and abandoned the infant.
The bond for the manslaughter and battery charges was set at $260,000.
Death of Boone County inmate under investigation
January 19, 2011
Detectives are investigating the death of Dustin Paul Chasteen, 34, who died by suicide Monday, Jan. 17, in a cell at the Boone County Jail.
Officers who found Chasteen shortly after 3 a.m. conducted CPR and used an automated external defibrillator, efforts continued by Boone County EMS paramedics when they arrived, said Boone County Sheriff Deputy Chris Burcham.
Chasteen was taken to Witham Memorial Hospital, Lebanon, where he was pronounced dead at 3:31 a.m., Burcham said. Chasteen was the sole occupant of a two-man cell, Burcham said. Foul play is not suspected.
Charges of criminal confinement, battery resulting in bodily injury, and interference with the reporting of a crime were filed against Chasteen after his 2:01 p.m. Jan. 10 arrest by Lebanon Police.
Chasteen admitted to misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury in an Aug. 13, plea agreement. After his Jan. 10 arrest, the Boone County Probation Department sought revocation of his probation on that case; he was scheduled to appear in court on April 21 for that hearing.
Court records showed Chasteen had addresses in Lebanon and Frankfort.
The Franklin County sheriff's office is investigating the death of an inmate found hanging in his cell at the Downtown jail last month.
Paul J. Moore, 29, died at Grant Medical Center about an hour after he was discovered Dec. 29 hanging from a bedsheet. Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said her office is reviewing the case, but the death is likely to be ruled a suicide.
Moore was a convicted sex offender awaiting trial for failing to report a change of address, according to Franklin County Common Pleas Court records. Court documents listed his address as Hebron Road in Newark. He had been held at the jail since Aug. 31.
Chief Deputy Steve Martin said Moore was in a single cell and was not on a suicide watch. An incident report indicates that the hanging occurred between 2:01 and 3:39 p.m. He died in the hospital at 4:30 p.m., Gorniak said.
January 20, 2011
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Authorities said an inmate being held in the Black Hawk County jail has died after being found hanging in his cell.
The sheriff's office said 33-year-old Michael Adair was found just after noon on Thursday. Sheriff's officials said in a news release that jail staff provided emergency medical care and that Adair was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The sheriff's office said his death was a suicide.
Adair was being held on a burglary charge.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating his death.
January 28, 2011
A Newport Beach woman is seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from the city, claiming police erroneously arrested her husband who had bipolar disorder. Her husband then killed himself in jail.
Sandy Wedgeworth, 34, and family members filed four claims against Newport Beach this week seeking upward of $34 million for emotional distress, loss of a husband and father, and loss of future earnings.
William Robert Wedgeworth, 43, hanged himself with bedsheets in a Newport Beach Police Department jail cell July 31. Police had arrested him earlier in the day on suspicion of spousal abuse against his wife. She said she wanted her husband to get psychiatrict help, not be arrested.
"This is a sad and tragic loss," said Newport Beach City Atty. David Hunt. "We take it very seriously, and we've done a thorough investigation into the circumstances underlying it. We concluded there was nothing we could've done to prevent it. The jail is safe, and our officers did their job correctly."
January 31, 2011
The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of an inmate at the Sheffield City Jail.
According to our news partner, The Times Daily, 32 year old Kenji Simmons was arrested Saturday night for disorderly conduct at Another Level Bar and Grill in Sheffield.
Police Chief Greg Ray says Simmons was first taken to a hospital where he was treated for a cut. He was then taken to the city jail. About 30 minutes later, other inmates notified jailers that Simmons was ill. Paramdedics were called to the scene, but Simmons died around 5:45 Sunday morning.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
An inmate died Monday afternoon at the Purgatory jail in Washington County.
Investigators found no sign of foul play in the death of the man, whose body was found in his bed during a security check about 5:30 p.m., said Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Schultz. There is no obvious trauma on the man’s body and no indication he killed himself, Schultz said.
Authorities would not release the man’s name or age until family had been notified, Schultz said. Schultz also would not identify the part of the jail that was housing the man when he died.
A medical examiner took the man’s body to determine the cause of his death. Investigators expected to release more details Tuesday. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has identified an inmate found dead in his jail cell cot as Wilbur Moroni Jake, of Cedar City. Jake, 42, was found unconscious and unresponsive during a 5:15 p.m. security check Monday at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, shortly after he had returned from a day-long work detail, said Chief Deputy Jacob Shultz, who oversees jail operations. “An emergency medical call was sent out and paramedics were requested. Within minutes, security and medical staff were administering CPR and had deployed [a heart defibrillator],“ Shultz said. However, paramedics arriving the scene moments later declared Jake dead. Shultz said the cause of death has not been determined, but initial indications do not suggest either foul play or suicide. The state medical examiner plans an autopsy, which will include toxicology screening. “The Washington County Sheriff’s Office extends our sincere condolences to Inmate Jake’s family for their loss,” Shultz said. Jake was a state offender being housed by Washington County under contract with the Utah Department of Corrections. He had felony convictions for burglary and child abuse and neglect, in 1990 and 1998, respectively, and had returned to prison in August 2007 for violating his parole, said Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke.
** UPDATE **
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has identified an inmate found dead in his jail cell cot as Wilbur Moroni Jake, of Cedar City.
Jake, 42, was found unconscious and unresponsive during a 5:15 p.m. security check Monday at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, shortly after he had returned from a day-long work detail, said Chief Deputy Jacob Shultz, who oversees jail operations.
“An emergency medical call was sent out and paramedics were requested. Within minutes, security and medical staff were administering CPR and had deployed [a heart defibrillator],“ Shultz said.
However, paramedics arriving the scene moments later declared Jake dead.
Shultz said the cause of death has not been determined, but initial indications do not suggest either foul play or suicide. The state medical examiner plans an autopsy, which will include toxicology screening.
“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office extends our sincere condolences to Inmate Jake’s family for their loss,” Shultz said.
Jake was a state offender being housed by Washington County under contract with the Utah Department of Corrections. He had felony convictions for burglary and child abuse and neglect, in 1990 and 1998, respectively, and had returned to prison in August 2007 for violating his parole, said Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke.
January 31, 2011
Rucks Russell / 11 News
HOUSTON—Family members of an inmate who died under suspicious circumstances while in custody demanded answers from Harris County officials Monday.
Norman Hicks, 72, died at a Houston hospital on Jan. 22.
Hicks, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was jailed on charges of domestic assault on Jan. 7. Jail officials confirmed that on Jan. 16, he was involved in an altercation at the jail. The next day, he was transported to the hospital, where he later died.
“Why would they treat him that way,” asked the inmate’s daughter, Marie Hicks-Fields.
The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet determined a cause of death, but family members are convinced Hicks was beaten by a jail employee.
“He had multiple bone fractures in his face and the doctors said he had severe brain trauma,” said the man’s younger daughter, Evangeline Hicks-Campbell.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal investigation, and spokeswoman Christina Garza said she was limited in what she could reveal.
“I can only confirm that there was an altercation Mr. Hicks was involved with,” said Garza. “Under the advice of counsel, I can’t get into any more than that.”
A year and a half ago, the U.S. Justice Department issued a scathing report, citing what it called the “alarming rate of jail deaths” in Harris County.
Family members planned to meet with jail officials Tuesday morning.
Local activist Quanell X was planning a major protest in front of the jail on Thursday.
A 25-year-old inmate at the Fulton County jail hanged himself Tuesday night.
The inmate, who was identified Wednesday as Emmitt Starr of Atlanta, was transported to Emory University Hospital Midtown after a deputy found him attempting suicide shortly after 7 p.m., said Tracy Flanagan, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office. Starr was pronounced dead just before 8 p.m., she said.
The inmate faced an aggravated stalking charge, Flanagan said.
In September, a 31-year-old inmate at the Fulton jail committed suicide by strangling himself.
February 2, 2011
A Loveland woman jailed Jan. 6 for failure to appear in court died Sunday while in custody at Poudre Valley Health in Fort Collins.
Tiffany Ann Nobi, 25, was admitted to the hospital Jan. 9 after medical staff at Larimer County Detention Center had trouble waking her, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The coroner’s office Wednesday had not determined a cause of death.
Doctors were unable to determine what was causing Nobi’s condition, and there were no signs of trauma or injury to her. Initially, doctors were concerned she may have had meningitis, but this has since been ruled out, according to the news release.
Nobi’s arrest was in regard to a 2007 case out of Loveland, in which she was convicted of theft of $1,000 to $20,000. Her probation had been revoked, and she failed to appear in court, according to the online Colorado courts database.
A Loveland police spokesman said Nobi was transient when arrested.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said an inmate hospitalized similar to Nobi ordinarily would be released by the courts on a personal recognizance bond. She faced a “minor charge” and posed “no flight risk,” but Nobi was intubated within a few days of arriving at the hospital, he said.
“She wasn’t conscious to sign a bond,” Smith said.
The sheriff’s office is conducting an internal investigation of the death, as is protocol, according to the news release.
A Facebook profile of Nobi shows her as having attended Poudre High School.
Charles Edward Betts, 53, who was also transient and living in Fort Collins, died Jan. 6 in the jail of apparent cardiac arrest. The coroner’s office on Wednesday had not yet determined his cause of death, either.
Sheriff’s spokesman John Schulz said the two deaths were “totally unrelated,” and the two would have been in “totally separate parts of the jails.”
As of yesterday afternoon, officials also hadn't publicly identified the woman, saying they hadn't yet notified all of her family members.
The woman, who had been in custody since Jan. 25, was nonresponsive when a corrections officer came by her cell Tuesday afternoon to perform a health and welfare check, said Superintendent Ronald White.
White said corrections and medical staff performed lifesaving measures until paramedics arrived. The woman was pronounced dead at 2:28 p.m. Tuesday, he said.
Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard said an autopsy was performed yesterday, but the medical examiner described the results as inconclusive. Hilliard said his office is conducting an investigation into the woman's death and expects to have more information in the coming days.
White said the last inmate to die in the jail's custody was Gary Gross, a 40-year-old from Concord who hanged himself in his cell in March 2009.
Officers say Steven Herbert was being held in the detox unit Friday morning and asked to use the restroom.
Police found the 40-year old in the bathroom, unconscious and unresponsive; he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Investigators have sent blood samples to the state crime lab for a toxicology analysis.
February 6, 2011
Bennett J. Loudon
A state investigation into the suicide death of an inmate at the Ontario County Jail faults county officials.
Bruce Morgan was 43 when he hanged himself on Christmas morning 2009 in his cell with a bed sheet attached to a towel rack about 3 feet off the floor.
Morgan was serving two one-year sentences for drunken driving. He was due to be released on Oct. 22, 2010.
The 11-page report by the New York state Commission of Correction found that: "Despite nearly constant complaints of mental disorder symptoms while incarcerated, (Morgan) received no mental health diagnosis, evaluation or treatment ..."
Much of the report was redacted because of medical privacy laws, according to commission officials. The report was provided to the Democrat and Chronicle in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.
The commission investigators found that Morgan received no mental health screening at the jail, which is a violation of Ontario County's suicide prevention procedures.
According to the report, a social worker told investigators: "It may take up to two weeks to address a mental health referral or request."
On Dec. 24, 2009, the day before his death, Morgan talked to his wife by phone twice, but she told state investigators, "he gave no indications of suicidal thoughts."
An officer at the jail who supervised Morgan on work details at least six times in two months said Morgan never appeared depressed.
Jail employees told state investigators that when Morgan was found hanging in his cell, they could not find an "automatic emergency defibrillator" in its proper location.
A computerized log noted the discovery of Morgan hanging and efforts to revive him only as "EMT responded" at 1:42 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2009, which is a violation of state standards.
Records of significant events should also include the names of all prisoners and staff involved, the facility's response, a summary of what occurred and a description of the condition of the prisoners involved.
In the report, commission officials recommend that Sheriff Phil Povero direct employees to comply with policies and standards, and issue a memo regarding the locations of AEDs.
The commission also directed Ontario County Director of Mental Health William Swingly to review the work of two of the county's licensed social workers. The state also wants a review of response time for mental health clinicians to see inmates who submit mental health referrals.
Swingly also must develop a written policy regarding referrals of inmates and patients who make repeated self-referrals for mental health services. And he must create a patient education tool regarding psychoactive drugs, which county social workers would use when they meet with inmates.
Swingly also must develop a policy and procedure on informed "refusal of treatment" forms to be used when an inmate declines treatment or medication.
By May 25, Swingly must report to the commission on the results of the reviews, the patient education tool and the new policies and procedures.
"All the allegations against the county have no merit," said Assistant Ontario County Attorney Michael G. Reinhardt.
"At this point, the county is considering its legal options with regard to the report," Reinhardt said.
Morgan's widow, Sandra Morgan, filed a lawsuit against Ontario County in November. That case is still in the discovery stage, Reinhardt said.
Authorities are investigating the death of an inmate in the Lucas County Jail.
Christopher W. McGaha, 34, of Haskins, Ohio, was found unresponsive in his cot by a corrections officer about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday as the inmates were being called to breakfast, said Jim O'Neal, jail administrator.
He was booked into the lockup on Nov. 25 on two counts each of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and robbery and was held in a one-person cell on the sixth floor.
His trial was scheduled for Tuesday, according to Common Pleas Court records. The Lucas County Coroner's Office has scheduled an autopsy for Wednesday.
February 8, 2011
A man charged with killing his wife hanged himself in the Dekalb County Jail, sheriff’s deputies said.
Desta M. Tesfai, 47, was found dead in his cell Tuesday morning. An investigation found he had used the rope from his laundry bag to hang himself, Major Reginald Scandrett said.
Tesfai’s roommate removed the rope and contacted jail staff, who pronounced him dead.
Police arrested Tesfai Jan. 23 on charges he killed his wife, 35-year-old Genet Abay, in their apartment on East Club Drive in north Atlanta.
According to a police report, a maintenance worker found Tesfai and Abay both face down in the apartment covered in blood. Abay had several stab wounds to her back and neck, police said.
Police said Tesfai had drunk bleach and attempted to kill himself. He was treated at the hospital before being booked in the jail, police said.
The DeKalb Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine his exact cause of death.
February 8, 2011
A 25-year-old inmate from Pennsylvania died around 6 a.m. Tuesday after apparently hanging himself from a two-man cell at the Jail on North Marietta Street, Sheriff Alan Cloninger said.
Daniel Michael Summerville of Slippery Rock, Pa., was arrested on Feb. 5 at 9:52 p.m. in Mount Holly, Cloninger said.
Summerville was charged with felony identification fraud and held on a $1,000 secured bond, arrest warrants state.
Cloninger said he had “no idea” why Summerville may have been in Gaston County.
Summerville was found hanging in the cell by jail staff on Monday at 7:30 p.m., according to a sheriff’s office news release.
He was found unresponsive in the cell and basic life support was initiated after jail medical staff responded, the release states.
Emergency workers were able to get a pulse back for Summerville by the time they arrived at Gaston Memorial Hospital, according to emergency workers.
Gaston Emergency Medical Services transported Summerville to the hospital, the release states.
Cloninger said the State Bureau of Investigation was investigating the incident. The release states the sheriff’s department is conducting its own internal investigation.
“We’re in the middle of the investigation – all our policies work fine,” Cloninger said. “If something is brought to our attention, we’ll look at changing it then.”
Cloninger refused to comment on what items Summerville used to hang himself or the last time he was checked on by jail staff.
“I can’t discuss that at this time,” he said.
Summerville’s cell mate was not in the cell at the time of the apparent suicide, Cloninger said.
February 8, 2011 Officials tell us that 29 year old Gregory Cheek died at Spohn Memorial Hospital on Monday after being found unconscious in his cell on Sunday night. Guards found Cheek laying in his cell unresponsive and began CPR. While Being transported to the hospital, Cheek opened his eyes but was not talking. Officials are waiting on autopsy results to learn the cause of his death. Cheek first arrived at the jail in October.
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas Rangers are investigating the death of an inmate at the Nueces County Jail.
Officials tell us that 29 year old Gregory Cheek died at Spohn Memorial Hospital on Monday after being found unconscious in his cell on Sunday night.
Guards found Cheek laying in his cell unresponsive and began CPR.
While Being transported to the hospital, Cheek opened his eyes but was not talking.
Officials are waiting on autopsy results to learn the cause of his death.
Cheek first arrived at the jail in October.
Ms. Cowling was pulled over on Christmas Eve for speeding and arrested for outstanding warrants on minor charges. She was bipolar and methadone-dependent and took a raft of medications each day. For the five days she was in Gregg County Jail, Ms. Cowling and her family pleaded with officials to give her the medicines that sat in her purse in the jail’s storage room. They never did.
Ms. Cowling’s death is the most recent at Sheriff Maxey Cerliano’s Gregg County Jail in Longview. Since 2005, nine inmates have died there — most were attributed to health conditions like cancer, diabetes and stomach ulcers — far more than at other facilities its size. Bowie County Jail, in East Texas on the Arkansas border, reported five deaths in the same period, as did Brazoria County Jail, south of Houston on the Gulf Coast. In Williamson County in Central Texas near Austin, the jail reported just two deaths.
Interviews with prison experts and people with firsthand experience with the Gregg County lockup and its medical staff, as well as a review of scores of public documents, reveal a troubled local jail where staff turnover is high and inmates routinely complain about conditions. Criminal justice advocates say the situation in Gregg County is not unique; it is representative of systemic problems that plague local jails statewide.
Sheriff Cerliano defends the medical treatment in his jail and said he does his best to weed out bad jailers. “It’s only about doing the right thing,” he said.
Vicki Bankhead never went a day without talking to Ms. Cowling, her daughter and best friend. “I miss hearing her voice,” Ms. Bankhead said, sobbing. Ms. Cowling became a mother at age 15. She had become addicted to prescription pills and was found guilty in 2001 of possessing a fraudulent prescription. She struggled to keep a job.
Although Ms. Cowling had been clean for several years and was getting treatment at a methadone clinic, Ms. Bankhead said, her daughter had other health problems, including bipolar disorder, heart troubles and a failing kidney. “Amy needed her medication to stay alive,” she said. “That’s why I was begging them to help her repeatedly.”
Public records show that Ms. Cowling told Gregg County Jail officials that she had high blood pressure, arthritis and only one kidney. She reported that she took Seroquel to treat bipolar disorder and that she had been receiving methadone treatment for a decade — but neither of those drugs is allowed in the jail.
State standards require only that jails provide treatment according to the facility’s health care plan. Dr. Lewis A. Browne, the county health administrator and jail doctor since 1992, decides which drugs are allowed. Drugs like Seroquel and methadone, he said, are often traded among inmates for illicit favors.
Gregg County officials said that Ms. Cowling had received appropriate substitute medications.
Reports on her case submitted to the Texas attorney general’s office show that Ms. Cowling began having “seizure activity” while she was in the facility. The morning before she died, a jail nurse called Dr. Browne to report that Ms. Cowling was “hollering and uncooperative.” Dr. Browne told the nurse to give Ms. Cowling a dose of the antipsychotic drug Haldol. When a nurse called Dr. Browne later to report that Ms. Cowling was yelling again, he ordered more Haldol and put her on suicide watch. Ms. Cowling was booked on a Friday morning, and a jailer discovered her dead just after midnight on Wednesday.
Precisely what caused Ms. Cowling’s death remains unknown. A preliminary autopsy was inconclusive. Her family has retained a lawyer.
County officials contend that Ms. Cowling’s death was not their fault. She was not honest with them about all of her health problems, said Robert Davis, a lawyer for the county. “I absolutely do not believe that the jail or jail staff contributed to this inmate’s death whatsoever,” Mr. Davis said.
Sheriff Cerliano, however, concedes that not everything went according to the jail’s policies. After Ms. Cowling’s death, he conducted an investigation that he said showed that one jailer falsified observation logs that night. He fired five jailers and a sixth resigned. (Not all of the firings were related to Ms. Cowling’s death, he said, but were for conduct discovered during the investigation.) Two of the jailers were arrested for falsifying government documents.
Still, he said, the jail staff followed medical protocol in caring for Ms. Cowling. “We do everything we can to take care of inmates,” he said.
Since 2008, Gregg County inmates have filed more than 20 complaints with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards about conditions in the lockup. Most of the complaints were health-care-related; inmates said they could not get medicine and did not receive timely medical attention. An inmate who hanged himself in the jail in 2009 had complained that among many other grievances, he was not allowed medication he had been prescribed on the outside and had not been seen by a doctor.
In letters responding to nearly all the complaints, Adan Muñoz, the commission’s executive director, wrote, “The Texas Commission on Jail Standards does not question the professional opinion of medical personnel.”
Inmates have sued Sheriff Cerliano and Dr. Browne at least twice since 2005, alleging that their constitutional rights were violated by the jail’s deliberate indifference to their medical needs. In both cases, the courts found that Dr. Browne and the jail had attempted to provide adequate care.
Dr. Browne, who has his own family medical practice in Longview, is paid more than $100,000 per year to act as the jail doctor and director of the county health authority. He said that inmate health care was “the toughest medical situation to deal with.” Inmates are often uncooperative and dishonest about their health conditions, he said, and many are drug addicts. Adding to the challenge is that it is hard to retain medical staff, Dr. Browne said.
Medical staff members at the jail are not the only ones with a high turnover rate; records from the sheriff’s department show that in 2009 and 2010, more than 40 percent of the 167 jail employees either quit or were fired.
Sheriff Cerliano said the pay is low for jailers and that they have to go through months of training, pass drug screenings and work in challenging situations.
Lt. David Drosche, who works in the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and is president of the Texas Jail Association, agreed that retaining jailers is difficult but said that a 40 percent turnover rate is “extremely high.” The higher turnover, he said, results in more inexperienced jailers.
County lockups in Texas are accountable to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. Before Ms. Cowling’s death, the Gregg County Jail had passed every commission inspection for the last five years. Within weeks after she died, the commission, which reviews county jail deaths, decided the jail was in compliance with state standards.
But the commission does not require that jails meet specific health care criteria, only that they have medical plans on file. It also doesn’t keep track of jail staff turnover.
Diana Claitor, executive director of the Texas Jail Project, which advocates for improved jail conditions, said better health care standards and monitoring of data like staff turnover could help prevent more deaths like Ms. Cowling’s. From January 2005 to September 2009, more than 280 inmates died from illnesses in Texas county jails.
“One of the chief factors playing into mistreatment or neglect would be ill-trained, inexperienced staff,” she said. But with the state budget crunch, pressing the jail standards commission to provide additional oversight is a tough sell, Ms. Claitor said.
Sheriff Cerliano said his jailers already receive more training than is required by state standards and that the medical staff provides the best care possible. Ms. Cowling’s death was unfortunate, he said, but it does not mean that wholesale changes are needed in the way jails are regulated.
“We do have inmates that come in sick,” he said. “It’s incumbent upon us to try to do the best we can.”
February 12, 2011
The inmate who died after suffering an apparent heartattack in the Butte jail is identified as Danny Frye, according to Butte coroner Lee LaBreche.
Frye, 50, who had an Anaconda address, collapsed about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday and jail staff began performing CPR on the victim, according to Butte police Capt. George Skuletich. Police and firefighters soon arrived and used a defibulator on the victim, before transporting him to St. James Healthcare.
Skuletich reported that the man died about 12:40 p.m. Thursday while in intensive care at the hospital.
Frye was arrested in Butte on Jan. 27, on a felony warrant out of Wyoming.
LaBreche said an autopsy was done Friday morning on the victim, but results were pending. He said authorities suspect it was a natural death.
February 15, 2011
Twin Falls police are investigating the death of a Twin Falls County jail inmate.
A news release from the sheriff's office says the inmate was found dead in his cell from a suspected suicide at about 3 a.m. Tuesday.
County prosecutor Grant Loebs says the death will be investigated to determine if it was a suicide or involved foul play.
The inmate's name and cause of death haven't been released.
For the second time in five months, a man has committed suicide at the Dutchess County Jail.
Thomas Allen Siewert, 51, who was being held in the jail on a driving while intoxicated charge, was found hanging from an air grate in his cell by jail staff Friday.
The Dutchess County Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed the cause of death as suicide by hanging.
Dutchess County Jail officials would not comment Tuesday on whether the man had been under a suicide watch — or why they waited four days to report Siewert's death.
Town of Poughkeepsie police said Siewert was sent to Dutchess County Jail a week earlier, on Feb. 4, after spending the night in town lockup. His incarceration followed a bench warrant arrest by town police the day earlier, which, in turn, stemmed from a felony DWI charge he received in the town Nov. 3.
A Sheriff's Office press release said that jail staff performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Siewert after he was found unresponsive at 5:08 p.m.
Mobile Life Ambulance medics continued resuscitation efforts and transported Siewert to Saint Francis Hospital in the Town of Poughkeepsie, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Siewert's death follows the suicide of county jail inmate Justin McCue. Jail officials said the 26-year-old Westchester County man, who was found hanging by a light fixture Sept. 23, had shown no signs of being suicidal, according to a Journal report.
Their deaths are the only suicides, Dutchess County Jail officials said, to have occurred at the facility in more than 30 years.
Siewert was awaiting a hearing on his felony DWI charge. That charge constituted a violation of probation from a previous misdemeanor DWI conviction in the Town of Pleasant Valley, jail officials said.
Siewert's Sunday obituary described him as a certified heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems technicians, with hobbies that included listening to music, playing guitar and fishing.
His funeral arrangements are being handled by Sweet's Funeral Home in Hyde Park.
Inmate Kills Herself in SE Missouri Crash
February 17, 2011
(Holcomb, MO) -- A southeast Missouri jail inmate is dead after jumping from a moving van, according to the Associated Press.
It says the Kennett Daily Dunklin Democrat reports that a coroner has ruled that 40-year-old Lavonda Brown of Hayti committed suicide.
Authorities say Brown was traveling in a Pemiscot County van Sunday afternoon on the way to Poplar Bluff for a court appearance when she suddenly jumped out along Highway 25 at Holcomb. Sheriff Bob Holder says she was wearing hand and foot restraints when placed on the van, but was able to get them off during the ride. She jumped out of a side door.
Pemiscot County deputies stopped the van and administered first aid until rescue crews arrived. Brown was airlifted to a Cape Girardeau hospital, where she died.
February 18, 2011 A press release said Mark Dubendorf, who was awaiting sentencing in March on a sex-abuse conviction, was found a little before 8:20 a.m. Friday. Dubendorf had fastened a sheet around his neck and tied it to part of his cell. Neither jail staffers nor paramedics were able to revive him. He was pronounced dead at Story County Medical Center a little before 9:30 a.m. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will help with the investigation. Capt. Barry Thomas says Dubendorf had not been on a suicide watch.
NEVADA, Iowa — The Story County Sheriff’s Office says a 63-year-old county jail inmate has committed suicide.
A press release said Mark Dubendorf, who was awaiting sentencing in March on a sex-abuse conviction, was found a little before 8:20 a.m. Friday. Dubendorf had fastened a sheet around his neck and tied it to part of his cell.
Neither jail staffers nor paramedics were able to revive him. He was pronounced dead at Story County Medical Center a little before 9:30 a.m.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will help with the investigation.
Capt. Barry Thomas says Dubendorf had not been on a suicide watch.
Questions surround a Marion County jail facility after a pregnany inmate died just days after being transferred there. The woman's family says something started just two days earlier but they are still waiting to hear from authorities about what happened.
"I want to know why my daughter died. Why her and my baby is dead?" said Lisa Nipper, the inmate's mother.
Lisa said her daughter, 27-year-old Amber Redden, was two months pregnant and in a medical ward at the Marion County Jail until four days ago when she was transferred to Liberty Hall. Shortly after, Lisa says something went wrong.
"She called me on the 19th, she said, 'Mom, I'm not feeling good.' I said, 'What's wrong?' She said, 'I don't know, I just don't feel good,'" recalled Lisa.
That was the last time she heard from Amber.
On Sunday, Lisa says the daughter of one of Amber's friends in the jail called to say Amber was having seizures.
"My daughter has never had a seizure in her life," said Lisa.
Lisa said the only thing they heard from the facility was that Amber was running a temperature and that she was moved to a cooler room. Hours later, Lisa said she got another call from the daughter of that inmate.
"That was around 10:00 p.m. when that lady called me and said, 'Amber has fallen off the toilet having a seizure, and she's foaming at the mouth. They're in their doing CPR on her.'"
Hours after that, Lisa had a knock at her door.
"My (other) daughter showed up and a chaplain from the jail to tell me she's dead," cried Lisa.
Though IMPD detectives are investigating Amber's death, neither police nor the Marion County Sheriff's Department are saying much. Liberty Hall, which is run by an outside company, released a statement saying:
"Liberty Hall is conducting its own review of Sunday`s events and is working with the Marion County Sheriff`s Department and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department with their ongoing investigations."
"Something is not right. Something has got to be done," said Lisa.
She said the family is still waiting to hear how Amber died, what was or wasn't done to treat her or even why she was transfered in the first place.
"Nobody will tell me nothing. I can't get nothing from the jail, I can't get nothing from Liberty Hall, I can't get nothing from the coroners. I want answers and I want them now," said Lisa.
Washington County inmate Wilbur T. Teague died while in jail. The 63-year-old inmate complained he was having trouble breathing. Correctional officers began to asst him.
Teague eventually became unresponsive, and stopped breathing. Officers performed CPR on Teague, but saw no change in his condition.
Teague was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:28 p.m.
It is believes Teague died of natural causes.
March 1, 2011
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- An inmate in the infirmary at the Orange County Jail suffered a heart attack, but no one helped him for more than 10 minutes. The inmate died shortly after someone finally arrived to try to help him.
A Jail Nurse has resigned over the incident that happened in October 2010. However, the county released video (see it) on Tuesday showing the man having a heart attack.
In the video, it appears that 49-year-old Ronnie Benton knew he was having a heart attack. At 7:29pm, he sat on a bed in the infirmary with his hand over his chest. Two minutes later, he started banging his crutch on the edge of his bed, trying to get medical attention. Then he threw the crutch.
At 7:33pm, another inmate realized Benton was in pain and waved over a guard, who didn't appear to be in a hurry to help. For three minutes, Benton sat with no one checking on him.
At 7:36pm, he collapsed to his knees. Finally, the nurse on staff came over, but left him there and continued handing out medication to other inmates.
More than 12 minutes went by before guards showed up with a wheelchair. Benton died just after they wheeled him out of the infirmary.
"Five minutes goes by before anyone even acknowledges he is having a heart attack," WFTV reporter Daralene Jones said to Public Safety Director Linda Wineberg.
"Right, absolutely unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable," Wineberg said.
Benton was in jail for failure to appear in court, but has been in and out of the jail since 1996 for sexual battery, reckless driving and aggravated assault.
Wineberg is the administrator over Health Services, but has added responsibility as the county's Public Safety Director. She said an investigation found the nurse in the infirmary that day, Stacy Jones, failed to get Benton the help he desperately needed.
Benton wasn't on a heart monitor, but had a history of heart problems.
"She made a judgment call and the judgment call was incorrect," Wineberg said.
Jones was going to be fired, but when her attorney looked at the evidence she resigned. She had been a nurse at the jail for less than a year.
March 1, 2011
Los Angeles Times
An inmate at Men's Central Jail was found dead Tuesday morning, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’ Department official.
Further details about how the man died were unavailable, said Capt. Mike Parker.
As is customary, homicide investigators were sent to the downtown Los Angeles facility to launch a probe.
March 1, 2011
WISCASSET -- An inmate held on arson and
other charges died at Two Bridges Regional Jail early Monday, an apparent suicide.
Robi K. Saputra, 21, of Brunswick, was found alone hanging from a bed sheet in his jail cell at 2:18 a.m., according to Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland.
Saputra was arrested in August 2010 in connection with a fire Aug. 17, 2010, in an abandoned four-unit apartment building at the Brunswick Naval Air Station Annex in Topsham.
McCausland said state police are investigating Saputra's death, as they do with all inmate deaths in the state correctional system. He said Saputra's body would be taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta for autopsy.
Correctional Administrator Maj. Mark Westrum said Saputra had been out on bail on the arson charge -- set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 worth of property -- but was rearrested Feb. 21 by Wiscasset police on a charge of violating bail conditions.
He was being held on the bail violations at the time of his death, and also on new charges from Kennebec County involving drugs and underage drinkers.
Saputra was being checked every half hour, as is the case with most of the inmates at the jail, Westrum said.
"It's sad. In a lot of these cases, there are mental health or drug issues," Westrum said. "He didn't show any indicators. This came as a surprise."
Saputra was alone in his cell; a note was also found there, McCausland said.
Saputra had recently been indicted Feb. 11 by a Kennebec County grand jury on charges with aggravated furnishing of scheduled drugs, unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs and furnishing liquor to a minor.
According to the indictment, those offenses all occurred Aug. 7, 2010, in Waterville.
"He is alleged to have furnished marijuana and alcohol to minors and at least one of the minors was under the age of 18," Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle said.
Fowle said the investigation showed the individuals met at a park in Winslow, went to a private residence in Waterville and smoked three joints. Saputra was the only adult charged, Fowle said.
"When I screened this case several months ago, we were aware of the arson charge but there was no connection between these two events," Fowle said.
While Saputra was arrested on the indictment, he had yet to be brought before a judge, Fowle said.
Another inmate attempted to hang himself at Two Bridges Regional Jail, on Oct. 3, 2010. Alexander Farnsworth, 25, of Wiscasset, was found by officers and taken to Maine Medical Center, where he died Oct. 9, 2010, Westrum said.
March 2, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A north Florida jail inmate died a day after an apparent suicide attempt.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office reports that 40-year-old John D. Gardner died at a Gainesville hospital Tuesday night.
Officials say Gardner was found by another inmate early Monday morning after hanging himself with an extension cord. Jail workers performed CPR on Gardner until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.
Jail officials say a suicide note was found on Gardner's bed.
Downtown L.A. Jail inmate killed by cellmate
March 4, 2011
An L.A. County jail inmate found dead in his cell was killed by a cellmate, who has since confessed, an official confirmed Friday.
The victim was locked up at Men’s Central Jail on attempted murder charges, and his attacker was there on a murder charge, according to authorities.
[Updated ar 4:12 p.m.: The inmate was killed sometime between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. His death wasn’t detected by deputies until morning, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker, because “during checks of the cell…the victim appeared to be sleeping in his bunk.”
Two other inmates were in the cell, Parker said. The suspect was awaiting trial on a murder charge when the incident occurred.]
“When you have a significant number of people in custody for murder and attempted murder, and then others with various other charges, people of like crimes are often housed together,” said Parker.
[Updated at 11:43 a.m.: The victim was identified as Jonathan Najera, a 20-year-old from Ventura. Najera was strangled to death, said Ed Winter, the county's assistant chief coroner.]
It had not been officially determined how the inmate was killed or why. Authorities have not released their names, and it was unclear if either had been convicted of the charges for which they were arrested.
Deputies found the inmate dead in his cell Tuesday morning, but it was unclear when he had been killed.
Cells at the downtown Los Angeles jail are not under constant monitoring. The jail has long been criticized, even from within the department, as aging, understaffed and overcrowded.
March 4, 2011
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - For the second time this year an inmate has died while in custody at the Sevier County jail.
Sheriff Ron Seals told The Mountain Press that 38-year-old Billy Foster of Seymour began having seizures on Tuesday. He was moved to the medical wing for monitoring and was found unresponsive later that evening.
Seals said jail employees followed protocol for monitoring Foster. The sheriff has requested an autopsy and has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate.
Last month, 47-year-old Derek Lewis Pitts died while in jail custody. Seals also turned that case over to the TBI.
A preliminary autopsy found Pitts had several medical issues that could have led to his death. It found no indication of foul play.
March 5, 2011
BAY CITY - Matagorda County authorities say a 30-year-old man in jail on charges of criminal trespassing and indecency with a child was found dead in an apparent suicide Friday.
Andrew Mendoza of Danevang was found hanging from his cell just after 9 a.m. Friday.
The jailers immediately started CPR and emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene less than six minutes later, said Gary Mathis, Matagorda County sheriff.
Mendoza was transported to Matagorda Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead at 9:50 a.m.
Jeannette Bell, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1, conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy to be performed at the Galveston County medical examiner's office, Mathis said.
Mathis said Mendoza was in a single occupancy cell with no other inmates at the time of his death, Mathis said.
"As standard procedure, the Texas Rangers were called in to conduct an investigation," Mathis said.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards was notified and a report was filed also as standard procedure, he said.
Mendoza had been at the Matagorda County jail since late December awaiting a trial, said Joe Raymond, brother of Mendoza.
He was held on a $40,000 bond.
Mendoza's family has contacted the League of United Latin America Citizens to obtain information from conflicting reports they have received since Friday.
"The family was never contacted after his death," said Joey Cardenas, LULAC state director.
The mother arrived at the county jail at 1 p.m. on Friday to drop off a money order, and only then was she informed of his death, Cardenas said.
"The family contacted me because they are looking for answers and want to know what really happened to their son," Cardenas said.
The family does not believe he committed suicide, Raymond said.
March 7, 2011
(WISH) - The Marion County sheriff say's he's taking responsibility after a pregnant inmate died at Liberty Hall Jail.
Last month, 27-year-old Amber Redden, collapsed and died at the jail while two months pregnant.
Now, Redden's mother says she's suing. She wants jail workers fired, and she wants a settlement.
Liberty Hall Jail is run by Community Education Centers, and the company says they're not at fault.
Marion County Sheriff John Layton tells 24-Hour News 8 there were probably mistakes made by workers there.
“I take it personally. As the sheriff of Marion County, the buck stops on my desk,” said Layton.
Layton already launched two separate investigations.
He has deputies looking into Redden's death at Liberty Hall Jail, plus he is teaming up with two former sheriffs to look into standards at jails not run by the county.
“I have to take responsibility,” Layton said.
On Friday, Layton moved all pregnant inmates to the Marion County Jail where they are housed 150 feet from 24-hour medical attention. There's even an emergency button inside the cell block.
“I never want to see anything like this happen again, and I'm going to take every step I have to, to make sure it doesn't,” Layton said.
March 5, 2011
FRONT ROYAL -- A Linden man who tried to hang himself in the Warren County Jail has died.
Jason Eric Brill, 36, was first transported to Warren Memorial Hospital after he was found hanging by a bedsheet in his cell at 11:46 p.m. on Feb. 22, according to a news release issued by Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron.
According to Brill's obituary, he died four days later at the Winchester Medical Center.
McEathron says in the news release that CPR was performed on Brill until emergency medical personnel arrived at the jail at 8 E. Jackson St.
After Brill arrived at Warren Memorial Hospital, he was transferred to
Winchester Medical Center and admitted into the intensive care unit, McEathron says.
Brill was being held in the Warren County Jail on two felony charges of aggravated sexual battery of a minor younger than 13, according to the news release.
McEathron has said that Brill tried to hang himself between jailers making rounds, which they are required to do every half hour.
"You can have all the security and safety measures in place and once there's windows of opportunity for inmates to do all kinds of things that may be between rounds or may be between observations or different things like that," McEathron said Friday. "You do everything you possibly can and implement as many security measures that you possibly can and continue to do that every day in whatever advancement you're able to provide, but unfortunately things like this sometimes happen."
The Sheriff's Office has about 96 cameras that monitor the jail and the courthouse, McEathron said.
"So you monitor and you make your rounds and you do all those different things that you can do, and you attempt to observe everything that's going on," McEathron said.
McEathron said it doesn't take long before an inmate can suffer serious harm from hanging. "It's just a matter of minutes."
A Linden woman who was being held in the Warren County Jail for felony child neglect died in June 2009 as a result of hanging herself.
McEathron confirmed at that time that Lori Leigh Gray, 54, with a last known address of 279 Ulysses Way, died at Winchester Medical Center several days later.
Rescue personnel were summoned to the jail about 11 a.m. on June 5, 2009, after Gray hanged herself with a bedsheet, McEathron has said.
"Over the last couple of years we've prevented two other attempts and we've had well over a couple hundred interventions with things that occur that you do find out about ahead of time or you're able to intervene at any given time," McEathron said. "So the jailers and the medical staff are very diligent in making sure they are aware of what they're made aware of, or can find out and precautions are taken the best they can."
It doesn't help, McEathron said, that Warren County has an outdated jail.
"We do have a old facility that has bars and has the type of equipment that was state of the art back in the '50s and '60s and '70s, which makes it difficult for management in the way things are set up with the amount of population we have," McEathron said. "We're averaging 130-some inmates in population and it's a task to manage all that, but the jailers do an excellent job of that and providing the best safety and security that they can for all the inmates back there. ... It was originally built only to house 32 back in the '50s, and then we upgraded it, and I believe it was upgraded to about 79."
McEathron said when he talks about the jail's population, he's including the work release center, which also is on East Jackson Street.
"That's counting both buildings, but I think we had like 17 on the floor just recently because there's no bed space," McEathron added.
March 9, 2011
HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The case of a burglary suspect who died after reports he was beaten by police is now being investigated by the FBI.
Sources tell WLBT News that John Bridges, 48, broke into a church in south Jackson last Thursday.
He then led officers on a high speed chase and was eventually stopped in Pearl.
After Pearl Police subdued Bridges, he was taken to the Hinds County Jail in Raymond.
He was so badly injured, officers there refused to accept him until he was taken to UMC.
Bridges was booked sometime later, but transferred back to the hospital, where he died Monday night.
An autopsy is set to be conducted Tuesday night to determine the cause of death.
February 28, 2011
AUBURN — A 53-year-old Norway man died at the Androscoggin County Jail late Sunday, 13 hours after he had been moved to an observation cell for refusing to take his medications.
Sheriff Guy Desjardins said Reid Ross of 7 King St. was being held at the jail following his arrest on two Class D counts of criminal threatening, and one misdemeanor count of violating conditions of release. The charges were filed in 11th District Court in South Paris on Feb. 15, and Ross has been housed at the Androscoggin County Jail since then.
According to Desjardins, Ross’ family has been notified of his death.
Ross was moved to an observation cell before 10:50 a.m. Sunday, and checked every 15 minutes during the next 13 hours. An officer found Ross unconscious at 11:52 p.m., and jail officers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Ross was transported to the hospital at 12:03 a.m. Monday, where he was pronounced dead.
According to Desjardins, state police and representatives of the Maine Attorney General’s Office are investigating Ross’ death.
According to Sun Journal archives, Ross and his wife moved from Jackman to Wilton in 2008 to be closer to doctors and hospitals. Ross, who suffered from emphysema and asthma and had recently qualified for Social Security benefits to augment his wife’s disability payments, purchased the Wilton home after seeing it on Facebook.com. At the time, the house needed a new roof and chimney and its only water source was from a brook that flowed next to the property. Ross told the Sun Journal, after purchasing the home, he was confident he could make the repairs himself.
When they moved in, the couple discovered that there was a leak in the septic system, and that a partially buried oil tank was being used to store waste.
After months of trying to work with the couple, who could not afford the estimated $13,000 to install a new septic system, Wilton’s building code enforcement officer entered into a consent agreement with Ross and his wife, which included an order to repair the system or vacate the home.
In March 2010, the court ordered the building condemned and forced Ross out.
As recently as Jan. 27, Ross was still living in Wilton, where he was arrested on a warrant charging unpaid fines and fees of more than $1,500 on charges of attaching false license plates and operating after suspension. Ross arranged a payment plan with Franklin County, and was released from the Franklin County Jail.
On Feb. 2, Ross was living in Norway and arrested by Norway police on a Rumford charge of telephone harassment in connection with an incident on Congress Street in Rumford.
Then, on Feb. 15, he was charged by Norway police with two counts of criminal threatening and violating bail conditions, according to court records, and transported to the Oxford County Jail.
From there, Ross was moved to the Androscoggin County Jail.
According to court records, Ross and Nancy Wilmot were evicted from their Beal Street apartment in Norway in late January, and friends from across the street offered to let Ross and Wilmot stay with them until they could arrange to move in with Ross' daughter in New Hampshire. After three weeks, the friends asked Ross and Wilmot to leave, which they did, but left their belongings in the apartment.
According to police records, one of those friends sent a text message to Wilmot asking her to remove their belongings on Feb. 12, and Ross came to the apartment and was confrontational.
According to witness statements, when Ross arrived at the apartment, he threatened to tap his friends' phones and to physically harm them both if they didn't leave him alone.
Ross was charged with criminal threatening on Feb. 15 in connection with that incident.
Robertson, for example, was found Sept. 20 in his cell with his uniform pants tied around his neck and looped through the plumbing to his toilet. Arrested two days earlier for an attempted robbery at Uwajimaya, he persistently slumped forward until he could no longer breathe. Though he was resuscitated, he died eight days later at Harborview Medical Center. He had earlier complained of chest pains and at one point fell from his bunk, but had given no sign he was suicidal, the jail says in its death report.
Sharkey, who died seven days earlier, had been arrested August 26 at Sea-Tac Airport on a felony warrant. He had worked for the Jacksonville, Florida, Sheriff's Office for 20 years, then resigned after he was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon--ramming a vehicle carrying his ex-wife and her brother. He later violated probation, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on the day he was passing through Sea-Tac.
He told police he was surprised the warrant made its way into the system so fast, and said he'd been on his way to Alaska "to start a new life." Jail officials later learned he was suicidal when told by Florida authorities he had talked about "suicide by cop." He was originally placed in the jail's psychiatric unit, then moved to general housing on August 31.
On September 10 he was found hanging from an upper bunk with a sheet tied around his neck. CPR was started, and when fire department medics arrived, they got a pulse and Sharkey began breathing again. But, like Robertson, his brain was badly damaged by the loss of oxygen, and he died three days later at Harborview.
On that day, September 13, the jail was made aware by Florida authorities of a letter Sharkey had recently sent to a Florida judge, asking for help on his case. "I will not survive being incarcerated either because I will be placed in isolation or because I am a police officer. My life is in your hands," he wrote. Had the jail known this sooner, Sharkey might have been returned to the psych unit under suicide watch.
Goldner, also arrested for a domestic dispute as well as parole violation, wasn't thought to be suicidal when he was jailed in March last year. But in May he slit his wrists, and after medical treatment was sent to the psych floor. By June, he was declared "no longer suicidal," according to the jail log. He continued to get into disputes with inmates and jail officers. He cut one wrist again in July, and told officers there would be a "bloodbath" if he didn't get a psych appointment.
On August 11, he began to bang his head on a cell door and said he was planning to hang himself with a sheet. He was seen by a nurse, and later said "I'm all right." But five days later, he was indeed found with a sheet around his neck tied to his cell sink. He had made a noose of the sheet and just sat down and waited for it to strangle him. He could not be revived.
After the three died in succession, the jail announced it was once again reviewing its procedures for suicide prevention. In 2007, the Justice Department found that prevention training at the downtown jail "falls far below generally accepted correctional practices." The DOJ later reached a settlement with the jail, which was accused of violating the civil rights of its prisoners. The DOJ publishes regular reports on how the jail is improving, or not, and in October, the last report issued, said:
"As stated in previous reports," the jail has "remained completely cooperative [and] accepting of the corrective actions . . . and often willing to listen to recommendations...That said, in must be noted that following our July 2010 monitoring tour, the [jail] experienced three suicides in the span of five weeks." Was the jail still failing to do the right thing at the right time to prevent such deaths? That would be reviewed and will be taken up in the next report, the DOJ promises.
March 16, 2011
Authorities are investigating the death of an inmate at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.
Media outlets report that 35-year-old Euseph Shehab of Ansted was found dead in his cell Tuesday. The cause hasn't been determined.
State police and correctional officials are investigating.
Shehab had been jailed since February on charges related to the death of his cousin, 25-year-old Jamie Withrow of Hico. Police say Shehab admitted to accidentally shooting Withrow in the head.
March 16, 2011
LILLINGTON - An inmate in the Harnett County Jail died Monday after Detention Officers used an electronic stun gun to subdue him during an altercation.
Brandon Jolvon Bethea, 24, of Fayetteville, was pronounced dead about 2:15 p.m. at Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital, according to a news release from the Harnett County Sheriff's Office.
Bethea had been jailed since Jan. 23 when Dunn police charged him with two counts of attempted first-degree sex offense, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and selling or distributing a counterfeit substance, Sheriff Larry Rollins said today.
Bethea's bail was set at $150,000.
Bethea had been taken to the courthouse for a hearing Tuesday morning, Rollins said.
When Bethea returned about 12:30 p.m., he was put into a holding cell near the detention center's intake section, Rollins said.
That was when the altercation happened inside the holding cell, Rollins said.
He would not give the details because of the pending investigation.
The cell is equipped with surveillance cameras that are monitored by jail workers, Rollins said.
Within about 30 minutes, he said, the staff noticed that Bethea was unresponsive and not breathing, Rollins said.
Workers performed CPR until an ambulance arrived, Rollins said.
A detention officer, identified only as J. Clark, has been put on administrative leave, Rollins said.
He would not give the officer's first name, but said the jailer was "a competent and experienced detention officer."
Rollins also asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter.
"Anytime something like this occurs, you just feel like it's a more prudent way to carry out an investigation, to let an outside agency do it," Rollins said.
An autopsy is being done to determine the cause of Bethea's death, Rollins said.
Officers at the St. Joseph County Jail found an inmate hanging in his cell shortly after midnight Friday.
Medics tried to resuscitate him, but they were unsuccessful.
The inmate had only been in jail for about a day after he was arrested at a local hospital.
His name will not be released until family members are notified.
Officials say video has been reviewed and all procedures for checking on the inmates were followed.
According to protocol, the Metro Homicide Unit will investigate the death.
Sheriff Walls: No foul play suspected in woman’s death
March 18, 2011
Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls is leading an investigation into the death of a female inmate from his jail.
According to Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and Public Information Officer Heath Thomas, Regina Theresa Carr, 47, of Arab, collapsed just before 8 a.m. Tuesday inside the jail’s dorm.
She was transported to Marshall Medical Center North for treatment and later transferred to Huntsville Hospital.
Thomas said Carr had not complained of sickness to jail or medical staff prior to her collapse.
After being transferred to Huntsville Hospital, she was alert and talking, but was later placed on life support.
Friday, Carr’s immediate family made the decision to remove her from life support and she died shortly after.
Walls said no foul play is indicated in her death.
“We feel like it was a death due to natural causes,” Walls said. “As always, we want a complete and thorough review of all her records of her time incarcerated here with us.”
Carr and her boyfriend, William J. Dooley, 32, of Joppa, were arrested by Marshall County Sheriff’s Investigators and charged with manufacturing methamphetamines.
Dooley was able to post bond, but Carr remained in jail.
Thomas said department protocol is for Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall to conduct an investigation into the death.
Carr’s body has been taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy. The autopsy was expected to be conducted Friday, Walls said. Once complete, the autopsy results will be presented to a Marshall County Grand Jury.
March 18, 2011
CARMI, Ill. — An inmate being held at the White County jail at Carmi, Ill., on a disorderly conduct charge died early this morning after being found unresponsive in his jail cell.
White County Sheriff Doug Maier reports that correctional officers checked on Joseph D. Jordan, Jr., 52 of Carmi, at 12:07 a.m. and he was said to be "alert". At 12:42 a.m., he was found to be "unresponsive," Sheriff Maier said. An ambulance was dispatched as correctional officers performed CPR until EMT's arrived.
Jordan was taken to Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro where he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m. At this time, no cause of death has been established.
Hamilton County Coroner Ron Ewald has scheduled an autopsy at the White County Morgue in Carmi this afternoon. As required for any in-custody death, the Illinois Department of Corrections has been notified and will file a report.
Police records indicate Jordan was arrested at 9:45 p.m. Thursday at 604 Sycamore St. in Carmi by Carmi City Police on a disorderly conduct charge.
Investigators from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation will travel to southwest Georgia Monday to survey jail conditions after the death of a local inmate.
Fabian Avery III, 17, was found dead Friday in his cell at the Pelham Pre-Release Center, located about an hour north of Tallahassee, Fla.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, GBI spokesman John Bankhead told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Avery was one of several Fulton County inmates being held in Pelham to alleviate overcrowding in the Rice Street jail. Inmates from Gwinnett, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs are also housed there.
Agents from the Thomasville regional office of the GBI are investigating the death, Bankhead said.
A Fulton County Sheriff’s spokeswoman said Avery was recently sentenced. Fulton jail records show Avery was arrested in December on multiple charges, including aggravated assault and armed robbery, and has since been sentenced.
“On Monday, high-ranking commanders from the Fulton County Jail are going to visit the facility to survey conditions,” spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan said Saturday.
Pelham police responded to the death. On Saturday, Pelham police referred questions to Investigator Roy Williams, but said he would not be available until Monday.
Earlier this month, Johns Creek signed a contract with Pelham to pay $35 a day per inmate to house long-term prisoners. Sandy Springs and Gwinnett County also house inmates in Pelham, in addition to Fulton.
Pelham Police operate the 354-bed facility, which was decommissioned by the Georgia Department of Corrections in 2008.
Williams, of Pelham police, told Fox 5 that Avery “wasn’t eating right so he was put in isolation to monitor his food intake.”
Avery’s family told Fox 5 that the teen had complained of being sick and getting poor treatment. The family could not be reached for comment Saturday.
In 2005, Fulton signed a contract to send hundreds of inmates to the southwest Georgia facility to meet a federal court order mandating the inmate population be kept under 2,250. Inmates were also sent to Decatur County, Polk County and several facilities in Georgia.
At the time, Fulton agreed to pay $35 a day per inmate for food, clothing and transport.
The 2005 move was temporarily halted after defense attorneys filed a lawsuit, arguing the moves would make it difficult for attorneys to visit the inmates. The inmate transfers were approved after the sheriff’s office agreed to only move inmates who had already been sentenced or were waiting to be picked up by the state corrections department.
March 19, 2011
An inmate has been found dead at the LaPorte County Jail.
The LaPorte County Sheriff's Department says the inmate was found early Saturday morning.
No details are being released until immediate family is notified.
Friday, an inmate died of an apparent suicide from hanging at the St. Joseph County Jail.
March 19, 2011
Shreveport, LA(KSLA)- The Shreveport Police Department is currently investigating the death of a City Jail inmate.
On the evening of Thursday March 1th7, Jimmy R. Thomas, 26, complained to the jail staff of dizziness and stomach pains and was immediately transported to LSU Health Sciences Center.
Thomas was admitted to the hospital for further diagnosis and treatment, but died the next day. Hospital staff immediately notified Shreveport Police of his death.
Jimmy Thomas had been in the City Jail since Tuesday, March 15th, when he was arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and outstanding traffic warrants.
According to Shreveport Police, Mr. Thomas had a history of health issues which may have contributed to his death. The exact cause of death will be determined by the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office. However, the incident remains under investigation.
March 22, 2011
MADISON, Maine—A Maine sheriff says a jail inmate who died while serving a 90-day sentence suffered a brain aneurysm.
Sixty-one-year-old Richard Greco of Dixfield died Saturday night at the Somerset County Jail in Madison.
Sheriff Barry Delong tells the Sun Journal newspaper jail staff started CPR on Greco and emergency personnel were on the scene within 11 minutes, but Greco could not be revived.
Greco was serving a sentence for his involvement in a fatal 2009 crash in Wilton.
March 22, 2011
LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) — Northern Indiana officials say a jail inmate who died after suffering a seizure behind bars had swallowed a bag of cocaine hours before to hide it from officers who arrested him on a drunken driving charge.
The Times of Munster reports that 37-year-old Roy E. Young of Michigan City died Saturday at a local hospital after suffering a seizure at the LaPorte County Jail in LaPorte. The county coroner says a bag of cocaine was found in Young's intestines during an autopsy.
WSBT-TV reports the autopsy showed Young died from a cardiac arrhythmia brought on by a drug overdose and that his death was ruled an accident.
Young's cellmate says Young told him he swallowed a bag of cocaine as police were arresting him early Saturday for driving while intoxicated.
March 25, 2011
After being taken off of life support, an Ector County Jail inmate died Friday morning at Medical Center Hospital.
Juan Carrasco was transported Tuesday afternoon to MCH after officials said he suffered a seizure while being booked in. He was pronounced dead at 9:57 a.m. Friday morning, an Ector County Medical Examiner’s Office representative said.
According to Sheriff Mark Donaldson, Carrasco was being booked on a misdemeanor theft by check charge out of Travis County when suddenly he “sat straight up and fell backwards, hitting his head (on a concrete floor).”
Carrasco was taken to the MCH afterwards, but supervisors at the detention center failed to notify Carrasco’s family in the process. Naomi Carrasco, Juan Carrasco’s mother, did not know her son was at the hospital until she was called by a hospital staff member almost 12 hours after his arrival.
Naomi Carrasco, family members and friends planned to gather in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit around 7 a.m. Friday morning to sing “Happy Birthday” before taking Juan Carrasco off life support. He turned 33.
The death of a 72-year-old paranoid schizophrenic inmate who suffered serious head injuries at the Harris County Jail was ruled a homicide Thursday, according to an autopsy's findings.
Norman Ford Hicks Sr. of Houston died Jan. 22 from complications of a heart attack after he suffered blunt head trauma and a broken nose, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said.
Hicks' family said a Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide sergeant investigating the case told them back in January that Hicks had a serious altercation with a sheriff's office staff member and that it was standard procedure for the homicide division to investigate such cases.
The sheriff's office has refused to say whether any of its deputies or employees had an altercation with Hicks, and if so, whether those involved remain on duty. The agency also has refused to say if any disciplinary action has been taken against anyone in the case, citing an ongoing internal investigation.
The sheriff's office refused to answer the same questions again Thursday after it was revealed Hicks' death was determined to be a homicide.
Hicks' children were furious to learn their father's death was a homicide. They said they are angry with the continuing silence from the sheriff's office and the agency's refusal to answer their questions.
How Hicks died "hurts my heart because that tells me somebody did it — he didn't do it to himself," said his daughter, Marie Hicks-Fields, 51, of Houston.
Norman Ford Hicks Sr., who was on probation, had been in custody at the Harris County Jail at 1200 Baker St. since Jan. 7 after he was arrested in Oklahoma City and transferred back to Harris County.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christina Garza said in January that Hicks was in violation of his probation related to a charge of aggravated assault on a relative.
She confirmed at that time Hicks suffered head injuries when he had an altercation at the jail on Jan. 16 but would not say who was involved in the struggle with him.
Hicks, of the 10400 block of Royal Oaks, died Jan. 22 at Ben Taub General Hospital after his children made the decision to discontinue life support.
Doctors told his family he had suffered multiple facial fractures and severe brain trauma. His daughter said Hicks' face was so badly damaged they could not have an open casket at his funeral.
"His face was so disfigured by the time the funeral home got him, there was not much they could do to make his face look presentable," Hicks-Fields said. "All this happened because somebody killed him. I still say somebody inside that jail killed my dad."
She also was upset to learn from the news media how her father died instead of hearing it from the authorities. "You shouldn't have been the one to give us that information — it should have been internal affairs or the (district attorney's) office," she said.
The case has not yet been reviewed by a grand jury, but the Harris County District Attorney's Police Integrity Division is investigating Hicks' death, said First Assistant Jim Leitner. Prosecutors and investigators with the integrity division were scheduled to meet with Hicks' family later Thursday afternoon, Leitner said.
In a short statement released Thursday, the sheriff's office suggested Hicks' death may not be a "murder" just because his death was ruled a homicide.
"We take any loss of life seriously, whether it's that of an inmate, an employee or any other person," said the sheriff's office statement. "It's important to note that a homicide doesn't necessarily constitute a criminal act. Take an action made in self-defense as an example. All murders are homicides, but not all homicides are murders."
A ruling of homicide means the death was not a result of natural causes, an accident or suicide.
The sheriff's office's criminal investigation is continuing. Hicks' cause of death "and any other findings will certainly be taken into consideration," Garza wrote in the statement. She declined to comment further because of the ongoing probe.
Hicks' other daughter, Evangeline Hicks Campbell, 50, of Katy, said she was in shock to learn of the homicide ruling, but added, "I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.
"Aside from being really hurt, I am totally furious," she said. "It's sickening. It's totally sickening because I can picture it. I can see it. The person who did this, I don't know if they're still collecting a paycheck.
"I just want to see how fast justice is going to be done. I don't want the runaround anymore — we've been given the runaround since day one ... They've been covering this up from day one, I'm telling you," she said.
The Houston Chronicle filed an open record request Feb. 2 seeking the names and job titles of any sheriff's office staff involved in the altercation with Hicks, whether that employee or those staff members remain on duty and whether any disciplinary action has been taken in the case. The sheriff's office refused to release any of the information and asked the Texas Attorney General's Office to determine what should be released.
A ruling has not yet been made.
A Los Angeles County Jail inmate who expressed concerns about his safety was strangled in his cell weeks after a judge asked that sheriff's officials reevaluate the man's custody arrangements, according to court records and interviews.
Sheriff's officials said they had no records showing they had received the judge's request or reassessed Jonathan Najera's housing situation.
The possibility that the judge's request never reached sheriff's officials and the lack of records to clarify what happened represent a potentially dangerous flaw in communication between jail and court officials, inmate advocates say.
Records show the 20-year-old inmate did move to another cell on the same floor a day after the judge's request, but authorities suspect that move was the result of routine jail flow. Whether the move addressed the inmate's complaints of being "hassled" by other inmates is unknown, authorities said.
Homicide detectives have remained tight-lipped about the jailhouse attack earlier this month and have not released the name of Najera's cellmate who allegedly confessed to the killing.
Najera, who was in jail for attempted murder, shared a cell on the third floor of Men's Central Jail with three others. Authorities said they believe he was killed overnight. His body was discovered by deputies when it was apparently dragged out by one of his cellmates during a morning "pill call," in which some inmates receive medications. His killing wasn't detected for hours because deputies doing the rounds thought he was asleep.
At a hearing about a month earlier, Judge Daniel Feldstern and Najera's attorney discussed the inmate's safety concerns. Based on that off-the-record discussion, the judge said in court that Najera had been "somewhat hassled by other inmates in his current custodial setting. So I would just simply ask the Sheriff's [Department] to reexamine his circumstances and consider putting him in a place where he can avoid that kind of contact."
In an interview, attorney Steven Flanagan said his client wouldn't tell him specifically why he felt unsafe. "He didn't want anything on the record," Flanagan said. "You can't go back to county jail with something on a piece of paper that indicates you want to go somewhere else."
Court orders from judges are generally noted in a minute order and communicated to the Sheriff's Department through the bailiff. In Najera's case, it appears the judge's request did not reach the level of a court order.
March 30, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. - Authorities say a Pima County Jail inmate is dead after swallowing a plastic bag filled with an unknown substance and fighting with Corrections Officers.
Corrections officials say they noticed 47-year-old Michael Stephen Judge acting suspiciously in his cell about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers tried to talk to Judge and they say he swallowed the plastic bag and began fighting with the officers and then stopped breathing.
Authorities say they tried to revive him with CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver and an automated defibrillator until paramedics arrived.
They say paramedics pulled the bag from Judge's throat and discovered the unknown substance.
Judge later was pronounced dead at Tucson hospital.
County sheriff's officials said Wednesday that an autopsy is planned and they're investigating the inmate's death.
April 1, 2011 Police said Harris was carrying hundreds of dollars the night he was killed. Harris' son filed a lawsuit against Waffle House, claiming the cashier was McNeil's girlfriend and called him when she saw Harris had a large amount of money in his wallet. Police said McNeil's girlfriend witnessed the beating and reported it to police. She was not charged with any criminal wrongdoing. McNeil was found not competent for prosecution in April 2010 and was remanded to a state psychiatric facility.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Duval County Jail inmate who was about to go on trial in the robbery and killing of a Waffle House customer has died.
McNeil was scheduled for trial later this month in the July 2009 beating death of 60-year-old Fred Harris at a Waffle House restaurant on Busch Drive on the Northside.
A day later, police arrested McNeil after they said he confessed to the killing.
Police said Harris was carrying hundreds of dollars the night he was killed.
Harris' son filed a lawsuit against Waffle House, claiming the cashier was McNeil's girlfriend and called him when she saw Harris had a large amount of money in his wallet.
Police said McNeil's girlfriend witnessed the beating and reported it to police. She was not charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
McNeil was found not competent for prosecution in April 2010 and was remanded to a state psychiatric facility.
Andy Leroy Kintzel, 26, of the 1200 block of Putnam Street, died from asphyxia due to hanging. The coroner ruled his death a suicide.
Jail workers found Kintzel at 7:07 p.m. He was being held on felony theft charges. He was accused of stealing alcohol from a local Meijer store several times between January and March 2010.
Released on his own recognizance after his initial arrest earlier this year, Kintzel failed to appear for a court hearing this month. A judge ordered him to be arrested and held without bail.
Police arrested Kintzel on Saturday.
April 1, 2011
NEW ALBANY — A 19-year-old Guntown woman being held on a child endangerment charge has died after collapsing at the Union County Jail in New Albany.
Sheriff Tommy Wilhite tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Janice Nichols was awaiting transfer to the Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield on a judge's order after a state psychiatrist found her mentally incompetent to stand trial.
County Coroner Mark Golding says Nichols collapsed in the shower Thursday and was revived by emergency personnel. He says she died later at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.
Wilhite says an autopsy has been ordered.
April 2, 2011
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department announced that it was investigating the death of an inmate inside a pre-detention facility just after midnight Saturday.
The detainee, Gregory Turnquist, 43, of Ventura, was reported to be unresponsive by a cellmate about 1 a.m., authorities said. A deputy went to investigate.
In a release on the matter the Sheriff's Department stated the following:
"The deputy immediately summoned additional staff, including a nurse, to assist with life-saving efforts. Paramedics were called to render additional aid. Once the paramedics arrived they conducted their own assessment and treatment of Mr. Turnquist. Mr. Turnquist was unable to be revived and was pronounced dead at approximately 1:15 a.m. by Ventura City Fire Department personnel. Per protocol, Sheriff’s Major Crimes investigators responded to assist with the investigation. The Medical Examiner’s Office responded and an autopsy is pending. Mr. Turnquist was arrested on March 30, 2011, for suspicion of criminal threats and Elder Abuse. Mr. Turnquist was scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court for arraignment on April 3, 2011."
GLENN HEIGHTS —The Glenn Heights Police Department has asked Texas Rangers to help investigate the death of a man who was in custody.
Glenn Heights police have not yet identified the inmate who died, pending notification of family members.
Glenn Heights Police Sgt. David Jackson said the 43-year-old man collapsed in the municipal holding facility and was taken to Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas, where he was pronounced dead Saturday night.
A determination of the cause of the man’s death is pending.
Further details on the man were not immediately available.
Glenn Heights is 20 miles south of Dallas.
April 4, 2011
AURORA — A man who was incarcerated at the Aurora jail this weekend has died.
Jeffon Shaw, 37, was arrested late Saturday on two warrants, one a battery charge out of Aurora and the other, third-degree assault from Adams County.
According to officials, Shaw was arrested without incident.
But early Monday, jail staff noticed he was unresponsive. After administering CPR and using a defibrillator on him, he was transported to a local hospital, where he died.
Authorities do not know what caused his death.
"We are always concerned for those in our custody and are saddened by Mr. Shaw's death," Zelda DeBoyes, Aurora's court administrator and detention center director, said in a press release. "This is a serious matter and a thorough investigation into Mr. Shaw's death is underway."
April 6, 2011
An inmate at the Columbia County Jail has died. The sheriff's office says John Wayne Siple collapsed in a shower at the jail Tuesday. Despite CPR efforts, we're told he died at Doctors Hospital. Siple was arrested just a couple weeks ago and was charged with growing marijuana. The coroner says foul play is not suspected.
April 8, 2011
An inmate was found dead on Friday, April 8, at the San Jacinto County Jail. San Jacinto County Sheriff James Walters issued the following statement:
“On April 8, 2011, at approximately 8:43 a.m., San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department jail staff discovered a 46-year-old male inmate unresponsive in his bed. Emergency Medical Services immediately arrived but were unable to revive the subject. Sheriff James Walters requested Texas Rangers respond and conduct a parallel investigation into the inmate’s death. San Jacinto County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Beth Sewell pronounced the subject dead and ordered an autopsy.
“The investigation is ongoing. The inmate’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. An update will be provided on Monday, April 11, 2011.”
April 9, 2011
A Telford man being held in the Washington County Detention Center on a rape charge is dead, but investigators have not released how it happened.
According to a news release from Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, the man died Thursday.
“There is no foul play suspected at this time,” Graybeal said in the release.
Jesse Hester, 46, of 176 Al Sliger Road, was being held on a rape charge.
He was apparently assigned to a one-man cell and was found needing medical attention in that cell Thursday.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation.
WCSO Chief Operating Officer Leighta Laitinen said the TBI has not authorized anyone to release how Hester died.
No other information was available about Hester’s death.
He was arrested in October after being accused of an attack.
Patrol officers discovered the alleged victim at a neighboring home on Al Sliger Road crying and attempting to get help, police said.
The alleged victim was transported to Johnson City Medical Center, where she was treated for numerous injuries. Deputies quickly developed Hester as a suspect and went to his home to try to speak with him.
Deputies found Hester after he crawled out a back window from the residence in an attempt to avoid officers, suffering a severe laceration to his hand. Hester also had numerous scratches on his face.
Hester was treated at JCMC for injuries he suffered trying to avoid officers.
Hester was being held on a $150,000 and had a court hearing in March, but the case was not settled.
April 12, 2011
ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) - An inmate at the Carter County Jail in Ardmore has been found dead in her jail cell.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says 52-year-old Patricia Ann Wallace was found dead in her cell about 6 a.m. Tuesday. Wallace had been arrested about two hours earlier by Ardmore police on suspicion of driving under the influence.
OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown says county Sheriff Ken Grace asked the OSBI to investigate.
Brown said Wallace was in the cell alone and there is no indication of foul play. She says the body is being sent to the state medical examiner's office in Oklahoma City for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Jail officials discovered 35-year-old Armando Muniz unresponsive Saturday afternoon.
He was being held at the Tift County Jail on felony theft by receiving and firearms charges.
The GBI was called in to investigate. Agents say Muniz had an injury to the neck.
They would not say if the death was a suicide, but do not suspect foul play.
April 16, 2011
An Anoka County Jail inmate died Saturday at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids after being found hanging from a bedsheet Thursday at the county jail, according to sheriff's officials.
Steven James Carroll, 28, of Anoka, was found hanging by a sheet from a metal seam in the frame of his cell window Thursday afternoon, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer. The area was in lockdown at the time, and jail personnel had been checking on inmates every 15 minutes. Carroll had been checked on and "was fine" at 2:30 p.m., but minutes later was found hanging from the sheet, Sommer said.
Deputies administered first aid and Carroll was taken by ambulance to Mercy, where he died just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
Carroll, who had been in custody since Tuesday, had been charged with felony domestic assault, burglary, disorderly conduct and also was the subject of an arrest warrant from Florida, Sommer said.
He left a suicide note in his pocket, Sommer said. His death remains under investigation.
Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk announces that the Chippewa Falls Police Department is investigating the death of a Chippewa County jail inmate. The name of the inmate will be announced upon complete notification of the family of the inmate.
On April 17, 2011 personnel of the Chippewa County Jail notified Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk, that an inmate at the facility was found unresponsive at around 6:05 am, in a dorm at the Chippewa County Jail. Jail Officers responding to the inmate cell located a male subject in his assigned bed, who failed to react to verbal commands along with physical stimulation. Upon close examination by Jail Personnel it was apparent that the subject was cold to the touch and had expired.
Detectives of the Chippewa Falls Police Department are conducting the investigation, the Chippewa County Coroner, Ronald Patten has schedule for an autopsy to be performed early this week. Further information will be disclosed concerning the identity of the deceased, along with details of the investigation, once the investigation is concluded.
April 17, 2011
Lancaster County Sheriff R.D. Crockett has reported the death of Starke Jett, 53, of Reedville, at approximately 2 a.m. April 16 while in custody at the Lancaster County Correctional Center. According to the local medical examiner’s preliminary report, Jett committed suicide by hanging himself.
Jett was arrested on April 14 and ordered held without bond on charges of violation of a protective order, abduction, aggravated malicious wounding and eluding police. His first appearance in court was set for Wednesday April 20 in the Lancaster General District Court.
When booked into the jail, Jett received a medical and mental health screening, as required by the Virginia Department of Corrections, and was informed of the availability of emergency mental health services. According to Capt. Martin Shirilla, the jail staff on numerous occasions offered to contact the emergency mental health counselor to meet with Jett if he so desired. Jett refused all of those offers. An investigation of this event is under way. As required, the Virginia Department of Corrections was notified of Jett’s death at approximately 6 a.m. As soon as all information is obtained, including that from the office of the chief medical examiner, and a thorough review of all the information is made, a final report will be sent to the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Emergency notification requests were sent to the Northumberland sheriff’s office and the Roanoke City Police Department to inform Jett’s family of his death. The release of information about Jett’s death was delayed until such time as the sheriff’s office was assured that Jett’s family had been notified and their immediate questions answered.
Jett was a part-time reporter and photographer at the Rappahannock Record in Kilmarnock.
BENTON, Okla. (AP) - Investigators are trying to determine why a man who was arrested for driving while intoxicated died.
The Saline County Sheriff's Department says Casey Babovec was taken into custody for DWI and transported to the Saline County Detention Wednesday afternoon. Four hours later, officials say Babovec began acting "strangely," became agitated and struck another inmate.
After deputies subdued him and placed him in another holding cell alone, they noticed he was unresponsive. An ambulance was called and CPR was administered, but Babovec was pronounced dead at a hospital.
His body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine the exact cause of death.
Genesee County inmate dies of drug overdose; investigation underway to find how how drugs got into Jail
April 18, 2011
FLINT, Michigan — Authorities are investigating how a 30-year-old Genesee County Jail inmate, incarcerated since November, overdosed on drugs.
April 19, 2011
A female inmate at the Danville City Jail was found “unresponsive” in her cell Tuesday morning and was pronounced dead after rescue personnel were called to the scene.
Deputies contacted emergency rescue personnel, Mondul said, and the Danville Fire Department, Danville Life Saving Crew and Danville Police Department responded.
Keen was pronounced dead, and her body will be transported to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Roanoke for autopsy.
Keen was incarcerated April 12 for trespassing and false activation of an emergency alarm; she was due to appear in Danville General District Court on May 2.
Barton R. Galloway’s death is being investigated by detectives with Teton and Jefferson counties. He was being held on two counts of lewd conduct with a minor.
Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said a deputy checked on Galloway at about 2 p.m. and found he was distressed, so he agreed to allow Galloway to use the recreation yard to work it off.
Nielsen said the deputy found Galloway attempting to hang himself, using a bed sheet, when he checked on him again and followed the proper procedures.
“Preliminary reports are officers did everything they could do both in monitoring and trying to recover him,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen said the length of time before Galloway’s hanging attempt was discovered is still under investigation.
“Obviously we’re very disappointed when anybody passes away, and it’s even more tragic when they feel that suicide is the answer,” Nielsen said. “We do everything we can to prevent that but we can’t stop all of them.”
Nielsen said jail policy mandates cell checks at least twice per hour, and they’re staggered so inmates don’t know when to expect them.
April 26, 2011
A Leon County Jail inmate was found hanging by a sheet in his cell this morning.
A correctional deputy was making his routine rounds about 10:15 a.m. in the jail, when he saw that Stephen S. Campbell, 34, was hanged, an LCSO news release read.
Campbell was booked into the jail Oct. 10, 2010, on DUI, cannabis possession and paraphernalia possession charges, according to jail records.
Staff responded immediately, but Campbell was pronounced dead on scene by medical staff, the release said. His autopsy will be conducted Wednesday.
A Jail inmate in Marion County has died after being found hanging by his tube socks from his bunk bed Thursday.
According to a spokesman for the Multi-County Jail in Marion, David Furniss, 41, was alone in his cell and unresponsive when found by jail staff.
He had last been observed by correctional officers 11 ½ minutes before being found hanging.
His cellmate was not in the area at the time.
Corrections officers administered CPR until medics arrived. A pulse and blood pressure were restored and Furniss taken to Marion General Hospital.
He was later transported to Grant Hospital in Columbus and died early Friday morning.
He had been jailed Wednesday for a drug-related parole violation and faced 11 months in prison. He had been paroled after serving 10 months for a burglary conviction.
Jail officials said they questioned inmates and no one had information that indicated Furniss might be suicidal.
May 1, 2011
Dane County authorities are investigating how a 33-year-old inmate died Friday after he was found hanging in a cleaning closet in the county jail.
Authorities said they believe the inmate attached a ligature to an overhead mechanical pipe in the closet and was found late Friday afternoon. The inmate was housed on the fourth floor of the Public Safety Building in a unit that has direct supervision.
Authorities didn’t release the inmate’s name pending notification of family, but he was in the jail since March 2010.
May 3, 2011
A Tehama County Jail inmate was found dead in his cell Saturday.
A Correctional Officer discovered the body of William Lee Hawthorne Jr., 30, of Red Bluff, hanging from a bed sheet tied off to the railing of a top bunk, the Tehama County Sheriff's Departent reported.
The discovery came during a routine hourly security check at 3:18 a.m., the Sheriff's Department reported.
Hawthorne had been in the jail since Wednesday. Officers and emergency medical personnel attempted to resuscitate Hawthorne. He was pronounced dead at 3:43 a.m., the Sheriff's Department reported.
During the previous bed check, about an hour before the body was discovered, Hawthorne was seen by an officer apparently sleeping in his cell where he was housed alone, the Sheriff's Department reported.
An autopsy is pending. The matter is being investigated as a suicide, the Sheriff's Department reported.
Hawthorne was arrested and jailed on Wednesday by the Red Bluff police for reportedly trying to steal prescription drugs at knife point from an occupant of a local motel, according to police.
During a felony arraignment in Tehama County Superior Court on Friday, Hawthorne was charged with home invasion and resisting arrest. Bail was set at $150,000, according to court documents.
April 27, 2011
FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) - A Johnson County Jail inmate found unresponsive in his cell died, 24-Hour News 8’s news partner, the Daily Journal, reports.
The inmate, a 37-year-old man, was in an isolated jail cell. He was arrested on a charge of probation violation. Officials say he was going through alcohol withdrawal and was under the care of a jail nurse.
When he was discovered unresponsive, he was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, before being taken to Methodist Hospital, where he died.
The Johnson County sheriff said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.
An autopsy completed Wednesday confirms Stephen Campbell died of asphyxiation, an LCSO Spokesman said.
MAJ Mike Wood says Campbell was in the general population and correctional officers there must make visual checks on each inmate every hour.
Leon County Jail Inmate Death
On April 26, 2011, at approximately 10:15 AM, Leon County Jail Inmate Stephen S. Campbell was found hanging in his cell. Correctional staff was making routine rounds within the pod when it was observed that Campbell had used a sheet to hang himself.
Correctional staff and Jail Medical staff responded immediately, however, Campbell was pronounced dead on scene by Medical staff. An autopsy will be conducted on April 27, 2011.
Stephen S. Campbell
Booking date: 10/10/10
Charges: DUI, Possession of Cannabis, and Possession of Paraphernalia
Tallahassee, FL - An inmate at the Leon County jail is found dead from an apparent suicide.
Deputies say a correctional officer making routine rounds around 10 this morning found 34 year old Stephen Campbell unresponsive in his cell...
A Leon County Sheriff spokesperson says Campbell used a sheet to hang himself. An autospty is scheduled for tomorrow.
Campbell was serving time for DUI and posession of marijuana.
Authorities are investigating the death of an inmate at the Richmond City Jail Annex.
May 3, 2011
Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. this morning said Paul R. Westbury Jr., 56, was found unresponsive in his cell late Sunday night and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. There were no signs of foul play, Woody said.
Woody said Westbury's family was notified of his death late Monday night.
Woody's office and Richmond Police are investigating the death. The Richmond medical examiner's office this morning said the cause and manner of death are pending and that the office is awaiting test results before making a determination.
Westbury, who had a lengthy history of alcohol-related offenses in Richmond, was arrested by city police on a misdemeanor charge and turned over to the sheriff's office early Sunday evening.