McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 22, 2013

Inmate’s death is being investigated as a suicide

Man found Oct. 16 unresponsive in his cell

ENID, Okla. — The death of an inmate at Garfield County Detention Facility last week is being investigated as a suicide.

John Joseph Matthew North, 27, was found unresponsive in his cell at 3:09 p.m. Oct. 16 by other inmates, who alerted jail staff. CPR was initiated by inmates and jail staff, and the man was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. He was pronounced dead at about 9:40 p.m. Oct. 16.

The incident has been reported to Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Jail Inspection Division as required by protocol.

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said the inmate was in a common area with other inmates before he left to go into his cell. After a period of time, another inmate went to check on the man and found him unresponsive.

A report filed with the division lists the incident as an in-custody suicide.

North was being held on misdemeanor charges of drug possession and driving under suspension, according to online court records.

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