Major Crimes Detectives Investigating In Custody Death
Early this morning, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives responded to the Spokane County Jail to conduct an investigation into the death of a male inmate.
On August 9, 2018, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Spokane County Detention Services Staff responded to an activated emergency alarm in cell D-1, located in the Jail Annex, which was occupied by ten inmates. The alarm is activated to summon help when an inmate pushes the button.
The responding Detention Services Corrections Officer contacted one of the inmates who stated he had been sleeping but woke up and was having trouble breathing/shortness of breath. The Corrections Officer requested a medical response. As additional staff including the jail nurse arrived, medical treatment including life-saving efforts were provided to male who had lost consciousness and stopped breathing. They continued life-saving efforts until relieved by Spokane City Fire Department personnel.
Despite everyone’s efforts, at approximately 2:13 a.m., the male was pronounced deceased at the scene. Per protocol for in custody deaths, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy and Major Crimes Detectives responded to conduct an investigation.
Major Crimes Detectives learned of a physical fight, involving the decedent and another inmate, a few minutes prior to the alarm’s activation. The fight ended quickly and both inmates involved went back to their assigned beds after they cleaned themselves up, along with some blood on the floor. Approximately five minutes later the decedent requested for someone to activate the Emergency Alert because he was having difficulty breathing.
Detectives, assisted by Spokane County Forensic Unit Personnel, located and collected evidence consistent with the initial information they obtained.
Major Crimes Detectives continue to process this scene, conduct interviews and are requesting a search warrant to obtain potential evidence from the other inmate involved.
With the investigation still in its initial stages, the name of the second inmate believed to be involved is not being released at this time. Depending on the facts learned during the investigation, additional charges may be filed if/when appropriate.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the name of the deceased, along with cause and manner or death, when appropriate to do so.