Thursday, April 17, 2014

Coroner Rules In-Custody Death Natural Causes

Inmate Dies In Jail Custody

Mesa County, Colo. -- Shortly after midnight, on April 16, 2014, an inmate in our Detention Facility was found to be unresponsive and not breathing by a deputy. That inmate, 24-year-old Tomas A. Beauford, had experienced some medical issues earlier that evening (on April 15) and had an extensive history of health issues. Detention and medical staff were aware of and monitoring closely his health during his time in our facility. Due to the earlier medical issues that Tomas had experienced, the deputy assigned to that jail pod took the initiative to check on Tomas every few minutes. It had been less than 15 minutes from the prior inmate check when the jail deputy became aware that Tomas was likely not breathing. 

The Mesa County Coroner has completed their autopsy and ruled it a natural death due to his seizure disorder. Investigators were called into the jail and conducted a death investigation, which included multiple interviews of deputies and medical staff, along with a full review of all video captured of deputies and inmate movements in the pod where Tomas was housed. The video reflected all investigative interview statements. Tomas was housed alone and through the course of the investigation, foul play is not suspected.

Tomas was a Colorado Department of Human Services Regional Center client. His most recent booking into the Mesa County Detention Facility was for multiple assault charges and unlawful sexual contact with multiple victims. That arrest was on February 29, 2014, by a deputy with our agency. Tomas had remained in our jail facility from that arrest date, pending the court proceedings.

The previous in-custody death in the Mesa County Detention Facility was in 2010.