SIU Investigating Inmate Death at Benton County Jail - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

SIU Investigating Inmate Death at Benton County Jail

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KENNEWICK, WA - The Special Investigative Unit is looking into the death of an inmate at the Benton County Jail late Friday.

According to a press release from the Benton County Jail, Kennewick Police arrived at the jail at about 9:57 a.m., following the arrest of a 22-year-old man for felony harassment and "assault 4th domestic violence."

Deputies explained that upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal questionnaire, the man was moved to a one person cell in a living unit after no indications of concern were noted on the questionnaire.

Deputies say corrections officers check on the man regularly per normal jail protocol. 

At approximately 10:40 p.m., during one of the normal security checks, a Benton County Corrections Officer called for medical assistance after having found the man unresponsive with what was believed to be "bedding material intentionally tied around his neck"

Deputies say medical staff and corrections officers responded to the location to attempt to care for the inmate. 

Benton County Corrections and Medical staff performed CPR on the inmate until Emergency Medical Personnel arrived from the Kennewick Fire Department.  A short time later a medical doctor pronounced the inmate deceased. 

Following this event, Sheriff Steve Keane requested the assistance of the regional Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to conduct a thorough and independent investigation of the event.