Young man found dead in cell at county jail

EVERETT — A 19-year-old man was found dead in his cell at the Snohomish County Jail late Tuesday night.

Travis A. Nelson-Martinez of Sultan hanged himself, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

Nelson-Martinez was booked on arrest warrants by Everett police on Sept. 2, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

He had been cited in Everett in June for criminal trespassing and cited in Arlington in July for third-degree theft.

He was scheduled to be transferred to the Marysville Jail on Wednesday for court hearings in the Arlington case, Ireton said.

In the county jail, Nelson-Martinez was being checked on by corrections officers every half-hour, Ireton said.

He was found hanging in his cell during the 11:30 p.m. checks on Tuesday. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Nelson-Martinez was screened when he was booked, a process that included a mental-health evaluation, Ireton said.

“There was nothing he said or did that triggered any concern,” she said. “He was in general population. He has no previous history with us, so we didn’t have previous medical or mental health history for him.”

Sheriff’s detectives will conduct a death investigation, Ireton said.

At least 11 people have died in the county jail since 2010, including at least one other suicide. Inmate deaths outside of the jail, including those who are rushed to the hospital, have not been included in that total.

A 21-year-old man died at the hospital after hanging himself in the jail in July.

The most recent death inside the jail was that of a 42-year-old Tulalip woman in May.

Melissa Lee Bradford died from liver disease, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Deaths in the jail have been the focus of multiple multimillion-dollar legal claims and lawsuits against the county, and have led to a series of comprehensive reforms meant to address safety issues such as overcrowding.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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