Inmate, 34, dies at the Snohomish County Jail

The sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating. There were no obvious signs of what caused his death.

EVERETT — A 34-year-old man died Wednesday morning while incarcerated at the Snohomish County Jail, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a news release, a corrections deputy found Christopher W. Hankins around 5 a.m., unresponsive in a cell by himself in the general housing unit at the jail. Both staff and medics attempted lifesaving efforts but could not resuscitate Hankins.

“There were no apparent signs or observations that indicated an obvious cause of death,” according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit and the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the death.

Everett police had booked Hankins into the jail on July 5 for investigation of second-degree assault after he allegedly threw a firework at another person. No injuries were reported, but the firework exploded with enough force to rattle nearby buildings and windows, prosecutors wrote. Hankins was being held on $10,000 bail and was awaiting trial, scheduled for next month.

It’s been about 2½ years since a person has died at the jail, sheriff’s spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said. Denise Jo Huffer apparently collapsed in her cell on Feb. 21, 2018. Staff attempted CPR, but failed to revive her. The medical examiner’s office determined she died from a methamphetamine overdose. She was 62.

Last year, the county settled a lawsuit in another death related to the jail for $3.1 million. Piper Travis, 34, became seriously ill during her short stay in the facility in late 2017 and later died at a hospital.

After a string of deaths between 2010 and 2014, former Sheriff Ty Trenary implemented a number of reforms at the jail to make conditions safer for inmates.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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