Santa Clara jail inmate dies in custody

A 33-year-old man died while in custody Monday morning at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, a sheriff’s spokesman said today.

The man, whose name has not been released, was found unresponsive at the jail’s North tower by a correctional deputy during a welfare check around 10:30 a.m. Monday, Santa Clara County sheriff’s Sgt. James Jensen said.

Custody staff provided first aid and performed CPR on the inmate, Jensen said.

Firefighters and emergency medical service providers were also called to the jail, where they tried to resuscitate the man, who was pronounced dead shortly after 11 a.m., according to Jensen.

Nursing staff is housed 24 hours a day at the area where the inmate was held and investigators are speaking with witnesses, he said.

Deputies arrested the inmate Sept. 6 on suspicion of two counts of assault and battery, Jensen said.

The man was released on Sept. 19 and was arrested the next day by Milpitas police on suspicion of assault and battery, being drunk in public and a small traffic violation, according to Jensen.

Jensen could not provide disclose the inmate’s medical history or mental state because of medical confidentiality laws.

A death investigation is taking place by sheriff’s detectives and Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The sheriff’s internal affairs unit is looking to see if there were any policy violations by staff in the death, he said.

The death comes about a month after another inmate, Michael James Tyree, was found dead on Aug. 27 in the Main Jail after allegedly being beaten by correctional deputies there.

Three deputies, Jereh Lubrin, Rafael Rodriguez, and Michael Farris, have been charged with murder in the case.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office will be performing an autopsy and toxicology tests on the inmate who died Monday, according to Jensen.