Benton County inmate found unconscious, dies

Tri-City HeraldMarch 13, 2013 

— An inmate at the Benton County jail died Wednesday after jail staff found her unconscious during a security check.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office said the 58-year-old woman, whose name was not released, is believed to have died from natural causes.

Jail employees and medical personnel performed CPR before a doctor pronounced her dead, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The woman had a history of drug use and based on that history, they believe she died of “natural causes,” said the release. The woman was in jail for violating the conditions of her release from the Washington State Department of Corrections.

An autopsy is planned Friday.

Sheriff Steve Keane requested the Special Investigative Unit conduct a independent investigation of the woman’s death to avoid any conflict of interest.

The last inmate to die in the jail, Kevin Culp, died Dec. 25, more than a week after he was shocked with a Taser after police say he become combative with nurses and a corrections officer as they tried to help him.

Benton County Coroner John Hansens ruled that the autopsy found that Culp’s death was not caused by the Taser shock.


Submit your photos and video to the Herald through the Tri-City Herald's free iPhone app.

Looking for something to do around the Tri-Cities? Looking for a way to promote your event for free? Check out the Tri-City Herald's community calendar and restaurant guide.


Report breaking news.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service