A person walks out of the Snohomish County Corrections building on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A person walks out of the Snohomish County Corrections building on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Fourth inmate since September dies in Snohomish County Jail

Corrections staff found a 36-year-old man unresponsive in his cell Monday morning. He had been held in the jail since August.

EVERETT — A man died in his cell Monday in the Snohomish County Jail, the fourth death behind bars in the Everett lockup since September.

Around 11 a.m., a corrections deputy found the 36-year-old man unresponsive inside his cell, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Corrections staff began lifesaving measures, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man had been in jail since Aug. 17, when police arrested him for investigation of reckless driving, second-degree assault, residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of vehicle theft tools, second-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and unlawful firearm possession. He was being held on $595,000 bail.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office will identify the man, as well as determine the cause and manner of his death. The sheriff’s office planned to conduct a “morbidity review,” independent of the Major Crimes Unit’s death investigation.

Under a recent state law, the authority with primary responsibility must conduct a review of unexpected jail deaths, including an analysis of the root cause and recommendations to prevent them from happening in the future. The findings must be submitted to the state Department of Health within 120 days.

In September, Jonathan Reilly and Andrey Biruk were found unresponsive within four days of each other while in their cells. Both died.

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office inquiry “did not identify issues or problems” with the jail’s procedures following the death of Biruk. A medical examiner’s report determined the man’s death was from natural causes due to complications of methamphetamine use, the report said.

In October, corrections staff found David Koeppen dead in his cell. The Florida man was being held on charges of first-degree murder in connection to a shooting at a motorhome in Granite Falls.

The deaths were the latest in a string of incidents at the jail in the past few years.

In July, after two inmates overdosed, authorities found fentanyl powder had been smuggled in by another inmate hiding the drug in his rectum.

In May, seven inmates were taken to the hospital after suffering non-fatal overdoses. An Arlington man was accused of bringing the drugs into the jail, allegedly hiding fentanyl powder in a box of Kellogg’s Club Crackers.

In December 2022, Sean Hanchett died of “complications of chronic fentanyl and methamphetamine use,” according to the medical examiner. A sheriff’s office inquiry also found “no fault” in the jail’s medical response, with corrections staff performing inmate welfare checks “timely and in accordance with policy.”

In September, an Everett mother filed a lawsuit against the jail after her son, Christopher Hankins, died of “acute heroin intoxication” while in his cell in 2020.

In 2020, Evan Cochron collapsed and died in the jail while waiting to be escorted to video court. The medical examiner’s office determined he suffered a pulmonary embolism — sudden blood clotting in the lungs.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @snocojon.

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