Fourth SLO County Jail inmate dies

January 11, 2015
Sheriff Ian Parkinson

Sheriff Ian Parkinson


A 63-year-old Morro Bay man died shortly after collapsing at the San Luis Obispo County Jail early Sunday morning. He is the fourth man to die while incarcerated in the county jail in less than 12 months.

David Osborn was arrested for drunk in public on Saturday shortly before 1 p.m. He was released four hours later and then rearrested at 8:38 p.m., again for drunk in public.

He would be pronounced dead nine hours later.

During his time in custody, Osborn regularly complained that his blood sugar was off and that he needed medical care.

As is common in arrests where there are medical concerns, Morro Bay Police officers transported Osborn to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for a medical clearance. He was cleared and booked into the jail on Sunday at 12:11 a.m.

During his time in the intake area, a frigid group of cells with glass doors and concrete benches, he complained multiple times that he was in distress.

At 2:30 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., he was seen by jail medical staff, said Tony Cipolla, the sheriff’s department public information officer, in a press release

At 8:49 a.m., Osborn was allowed to leave the intake cell and he walked to the jail medical office and sat on a concrete bench to await medical care. He then collapsed in front of his jailers who used an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to revive the Morro Bay man.

At 9:57 a.m., Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center personnel pronounced Osborn dead.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Coroner is investigating the manner and cause of Osborn’s death.

Osborn is the fourth inmate to die while incarcerated in the men’s jail in less than 12 months.

On Jan. 23, Josey Meche, 28, died from a drug overdose after flailing on a concrete cell floor for more than 20 minutes, according to the coroner’s report. Until he stopped moving, deputies offered him no assistance.

In March, Rudy Joseph Silva, 35, was discovered unconscious in his cell. He was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he died of influenza and a staphylococcus infection four days later. Jail mates claim he was sick for several days with coughing fits, but did not receive the medical care he pleaded for until he was no longer conscious.

Timothy Richard Janowicz

Timothy Richard Janowicz

On May 30, Timothy Richard Janowicz, 29, was found dead in his cell. Several weeks later, the sheriff’s department sent out a press release saying that Janowicz died of a heroin overdose.

On Dec. 18, following more than a half dozen records requests, the sheriff’s department released both the autopsy and coroner’s report which describe bruises, gashes and multiple needle marks on Janowicz’ body. In addition, the coroners report says that jail staff had not seen Janowicz for 10 hours even though jail policy is to enter group cells every 30 minutes.

As a result, the inmate death rate at the men’s jail, with a population this summer of 551 prisoners, is more than three times the national average. During 2014, three men died in the men’s jail or .54 percent of inmates, while the nation average is .13 percent, according to Federal Bureau of Justice statistics data.

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If you don’t trust government to make the right choices for your welfare, don’t get arrested twice in one day.


i wish our government wasnt arresting people twice a day for hurting no one else but themselves. I welcome our government to arrest anyone who is hurting someone else, but apparently there arent enough people out there like that to make a living so our government has to arrest people who want to live their lives drinking a legal taxed substance, twice in one day.


Have to respectfully disagree Marcus. Rarely does a person hurt only themselves.

Had this man been in his own home doing whatever he wanted to do, there probably wouldn’t have been an issue. However, if he’s out in public, being a nuisance, then he becomes a public problem, and that involves more than just him.


I am sorry but El Parke is a liar, plain and simple. His lazy staff doesn’t seem to do their job as in taking care of inmates. These four men who died were not sentenced to death were they? And to listen to the washed up news fool Tony continuing to spew vomit is a joke. We need some answers along with a grand jury investigation. If El Parke is found to be anything but 100% honest, he needs to find another job. Top law enforcement in this county has a bad track record.


I keep seeing this reoccurring theme from people that these individuals to take personal responsibility for their own actions, and I couldn’t agree more. HOWEVER, one of the issues here is that they were NOT left to their own devices and held accountable for crimes they committed against other people The state chose to take responsibility for their actions and punish them because of their choices, and it is under those conditions which they died. They were NOT given the opportunity to be personally responsible and left to their own devices to address their own medical concerns. So although I agree with the sentiment, it’s really quite misleading to apply it to these situations. If they had died as a result of their choices only, outside of a jail cell, no one would be blinking an eye.


Not every patient who receives medical care survives.

People die in hospitals every day while under the care of competent, caring physicians.

As SLO struggles with its (greatly self inflicted) homeless situation, undoubtedly some of these individuals would not have survived their medical emergencies regardless of whether or not they were placed in jail.

People OD on the streets, all the time. Maybe San Luis is better at rounding them up before they do so.

Everything in life has a risk associated with it, from driving a car, to doing drugs.

Take a look at how many auto deaths we’ve had in in the area in just a few short weeks. People have been killed while riding bikes too.

Going to jail shouldn’t be a death sentence, but a lot of these people chart a course towards early death based on the decisions they make.


Thank you, mkaney. Very well said.

Also, because the “state chose to take responsibility” for this deceased inmate, it’s a matter of time before his family sues the county and the taxpayers will pay out big $$. Again.


Two drunk in public arrests in less than 9 hours and his blood sugar is out of whack?

This man didn’t deserve to die, but these people have all put themselves in dangerous positions, BEFORE they went to jail.

Some reponsibility lies in the hands of those who don’t care for themselves, and indulge in life threatening behaviors.


I am saddened and disgusted.

And no, more law enforcement isn’t the answer obviously.

It sounds like the jail needs to change its policies regarding medical care inside that jail. Why was this man, who seemed to know something was seriously wrong with him, ignored and left to die?

The jail needs more WELL TRAINED medical staff. Have the nurses go on rounds with law enforcement if necessary. Something needs to change, as people should not be dying.

County does not want to spend revenue on peons like nurses and medical staff. They need money for more law enforcement, more Board of Supervisor raises, spending money purchasing “open space”.

If this man were my family member, I would sue. Maybe then they will open up that wallet and do what is right before more people die.


Ignored and left to die??? They took him by the hospital before they took him to jail. Nothing. Then they took him at 2:30 and 7:15 am to see jail medical staff. In my opinion it is the people looking at him medically that are missing it. They (Sheriff’s) attended to his needs THREE TIMES in seven hours. PLEASE explain to me how that is ignoring him???


A person is arrested twice in one day for being drunk. The Sheriff’s Department drove him to the hospital for clearance. He was cleared. He was seen by Medical personnel twice while in the Sheriff’s custody. He was sitting in the Sheriff’s medical facility at 8:30 a.m. when he collapsed and was then driven to the hospital for a second time and pronounced dead. So he was given a medical check up on 4 occasions in less than 24 hours and it’s the Sheriff’s Department’s fault because he drank himself to death? That kind of irresponsible thinking says there is no personal responsibility for your own behavior. People do make their own choices. Thanks to the Sheriff’s Department for doing their best to try to help a self destructive person who seems to have been intent upon destroying their own life.


Morro Bay police took him to the hospital for clearance, not the Sheriff’s dept.. Was it the first time, second time, both times? We don’t know yet.

The man said he felt his blood sugar was off. Drinking alcohol will do that to you. Did anyone check his blood glucose? Did anyone give him medication? Do they even have the ability to do that at the jail????? Or did they just tell him to shut up? I would like to know what the “jail medical staff” Did when they “saw” him.

People are assuming a whole lot about a fellow human being.. Assuming him collapsing on the floor and being allowed to die was a – ok because he was arrested for being drunk in public twice in one day. He was still a person and should have been taken more seriously.

Regardless of your “opinion”, there seems to be a breakdown in care or communication or common sense.


I have recently visited 2 newly arrested inmates. One female and one male. The male is a heroin addict and the female is an alcoholic and pill addict. Both of these individuals were suffering withdrawals. The male had repeated asked for a trip to the nurse and was ignored. Upon learning of this male’s condition, and witnessing for myself the obvious problem, I alerted the staff member at the visiting station window. The staff member refused to send any message to the staff who watch over inmates, stating that the inmates are given every opportunity to see a nurse.

The female I witnessed was shockingly ill, and looked as pale and colorless and had a strange trembling. Her arms were covered in goose bumps.

Apparently, it is in fact very very cold in the jail. I assume this is where the old saying “put in the cooler” comes from. I am not a very compassionate person when it comes to drug addicts, I find them sickening. However, it is evident from my two recent experiences and the stories we are seeing in the local news that there is a severe lack of oversight of the medical conditions of the inmates. It is not good.


“:….Huston, we have a problem”. This will be the next political cleaning-out scandal to change how things got done. Change is coming to SLO, and none too soon…!

Rich in MB

CCN is falling right into the Narative with this story, that the Sheriff and Jailors did something wrong, you can see it in the story as if the other 4 deaths has anything to do with this one. It’s sad to see it, but in this day and age, cops, police…they are all the bad guys right? So it appears. Will CCN run a story clearing the Sheriff if the officers are not found contributing to his death? Or will the next inmate to die, be labeled, “The 5th in a long line of Deaths”?

The presumption with this story is a problem and I expect better Journalism from CCN than this story gives.


instead of blogging while on duty why dont you get back to your rounds of checking the inmates cells.

How many more?


here is the link to the podcast of Ian Parkinson’s recent(last thursday) discussion on this very subject with Dave Congalton.

Ian claims that inmates get quicker and better medical care than we can get as private citizens. Apparently not.

Another LEO telling you how great a job he is doing to justify his exorbitant salary.


They do get quick medical care. They are seen faster than private citizens can make an appointment!


effectiveness is another issue.


The man is dead. Is that the kind of care you envy? I get the general point, but in this scenario, it is tasteless.


CCN isn’t falling or even failing; they are reporting facts. No one, not even the Sheriff, can deny that there have been four deaths of inmates while in custody of the San Luis Obispo Jail, which is run by the Sheriff’s Department; those are facts not even in dispute.

As to your assertion that CCN is claiming that the Sheriff and/or the Deputies in charge of the jail are presumed to have “done something wrong”, how is it that based of jail population size, the ratio of deaths to inmates is so high? Are you asserting that in every single instance, everyone working in jail did everything they could that could have prevented those deaths? I for one cannot see how anyone could make that claim.

I don’t necessarily “find fault” with the operation of the Sheriff’s Department, but I sure don’t want to see so many inmates dying while they are incarcerated. Sheriff Parkinson had better turn the direction his running of the jail in a different direction soon; something needs to change, for the better.

Inmates, law-breakers, prisoners certainly don’t need to be “coddled”, but they sure don’t need to be allowed access to illegal drugs while in jail, and they sure don’t need to be hidden from observation by jailers for more than ten hours at a time either. And as for the medical help being “quicker and better care than we can get as private citizens”; if we had a facility that had seen the same number of patients that we have as prisoners in the jail and that facility had the same numbers of deaths that happened, you better bet that there would be some serious investigations going on concerning that facility.

Fix this, Sheriff Parkinson.


what is interesting is not one of the inmates who died were guilty of a crime where there was a victim. None committed rape, robbery or murder, all had committed low level crimes against the state as part the states profiting activities of fines and imprisonment. The prison for profit scheme and war on drugs to keep LEO’s in fat salaries is really the evil gone unnoticed here. And for those fat salaries they treat even the most level offenders like chattel cause they are “just doing their jobs”.

Ian Parkinson, at over $200k per year doesnt make enough to fix this.


Marcus: I agree with everything you wrote except for the last sentence; if Sheriff Parkinson doesn’t make enough to fix the problem with the jail that his department oversees, then he is the wrong man for the job. He is in charge; how much he is paid should not have any bearing on the ability to fix problems in his operation.


according to Ian there isnt a problem.

guess he doesnt make enough money.