Fifth SLO County Jail inmate dies
March 24, 2015
By KAREN VELIE
A 33-year-old man died on Tuesday shortly after deputies found the unresponsive inmate kneeling on the floor of his cell with his head on his cot. He is the fifth man to die while incarcerated in the San Luis Obispo County Jail in 14 months.
The deceased is not being named pending notification of his next of kin.
On March 18, the inmate was arrested for a probation violation and for being under the influence of a controlled substance. At the time of his death, he was housed in a cell that was under video surveillance.
At about 3 a.m., deputies discovered the unresponsive inmate and began to perform CPR. He was transported to a Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s department does not suspect wrongdoing. This is the fifth death the San Luis Obispo County Jail in 14 months.
On Jan. 23, 2014, 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 2014, 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.
On May 30, 2014,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, 2014,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.
On Jan. 11, 2015, David Osborn, 63, of Morro Bay man died shortly after collapsing while waiting on a bench to see medical personnel. During his time in custody, Osborn regularly complained that his blood sugar was off and that he needed medical care.
As a result, the inmate death rate at the men’s jail, 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.
Don’t miss breaking news stories, like CCN on Facebook.