Jackson County jail inmate dies overnight; sheriff’s office launches investigation

Jackson County jail inmate dies overnight; sheriff’s office launches investigation.
Jackson County jail inmate dies overnight; sheriff’s office launches investigation. Star file photo

The Jackson County sheriff’s office has launched an investigation into the death of a Jackson County Detention Center inmate who died overnight after being kept in a restraining chair for 2 1/2 hours.

The 35-year-old inmate, whose name was not released, was brought into the detention center by sheriff’s deputies on a parole violation about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for Jackson County Executive Frank White.

A jail nurse evaluated the man shortly after he arrived. The man became combative and was placed in a restraint chair to prevent him from hurting himself, according to a statement issued by county spokeswoman Marshanna Hester.

Medical and jail staff checked on the man “numerous times” while he was kept in the restraining chair, she said.

“When determining that there was a health emergency, numerous medical professionals performed life-saving measures on him. Emergency personnel were immediately called and transported him to Truman Medical Center, where he died,” Hester said.

Detention center officials reported the death to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Mike Sharp said he had sent investigators to the detention center and to the Jackson County medical examiner’s office.

County Legislator Crystal Williams expressed concerns about the incident on her Facebook page:

“I’m heartbroken that someone ... anyone ... lost their life in our jail, regardless of who they are, or what they’ve done. We won’t know precisely what happened until the Sheriff has concluded his investigation. He doesn’t run the jail, but is tasked with investigations involving the jail.

“This is it for me. I’ve been raising hell (mostly in closed meetings until recently) for the past year and a half, demanding accountability for myriad issues associated with the Jackson County jail.

“Though the legislature doesn’t run the facility, it serves our collective community, and it is my job to demand accountability, and for this facility to be managed safely and effectively. I will continue to demand these things, while also continuing to explore whether appropriate actions are available to the legislature. I’m done waiting.”

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

Mike Hendricks: 816-234-4738, @kcmikehendricks

Reports of shocking brutality, filth and incompetence within the walls of the Jackson County Detention Center have sparked multiple investigations and no shortage of controversy.