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|Death Of Inmate Investigation Continues
As previously reported, on 6/29/2013 at approximately 4:41pm Wenatchee Police Officers and detectives responded to Chelan County Regional Justice Center (CCRJC) for an in-custody death investigation. Initial reports from correctional officers indicated inmate Jesse Avina Morales went unconscious after a lengthy struggle with correctional officers attempting to restrain him. Ballard Ambulance crews responded within minutes but were unable to revive Morales.
The majority of the investigation into the death of Mr. Morales is complete with the exception of the final autopsy report and cause of death determination from the coroner’s office. Neither will be available until the toxicology report is received from the state crime lab. Typically toxicology reports can take up to 8 weeks. The case will remain in “open” status until the final reports are received.
The investigation to this point has revealed the following facts:
- Mr. Morales had been in-custody at CCRJC since 6/27/2013 when he was booked by Wenatchee Police officers for a violation of a Domestic Violence No Contact order.
- Due to his erratic behavior, Mr. Morales was kept in a holding cell near the booking area and not moved to the general population area of the facility.
- On the afternoon of 6/29/2013, Mr. Morales’ behavior became erratic to the point where the supervisor on-duty determined he needed to be restrained for his own safety.
- Four correctional officers moved into the cell to restrain Mr. Morales but were unable to control him and were pushed out of the cell into the booking area.
- Additional correctional officers attempted to assist in getting Mr. Morales into restraints.
- The struggle between Mr. Morales and correctional officers attempting to restrain him lasted approximately 15 minutes.
- Towards the end of the struggle, Mr. Morales was placed in a restraint chair. Though he continued to resist while being placed in the chair, once in the chair, he stopped resisting and became unresponsive.
- Immediately following the struggle, while under the care of a CCRJC nurse, Ballard Ambulance was called to transport Mr. Morales to Central Washington Hospital for a mental health evaluation.
- Ballard ambulance crews arrived and Mr. Morales was transferred from the restraint chair to the transport gurney.
- Once inside the ambulance, monitors indicated Mr. Morales’ heart had stopped and CPR was initiated. CPR continued without success for approximately 27 minutes.
- After consulting with the CWH emergency room physician, time of death was called at approximately 5:26pm
- An autopsy was performed. Though the final report is pending, there were no indications of trauma to the body.
Once the investigation is complete, to include the pending autopsy report, it will be handed over to the Chelan County Prosecutor’s office and ultimately reviewed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
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