A man incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail died in his cell last week, marking the second inmate death within seven days and third since the start of the year reported at the Dublin jail.
Investigations into the June 5 and May 29 deaths are still ongoing, with neither decedent's name released publicly yet, but foul play is not suspected in either case, according to Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly. Deputies allege the March 10 death was a killing at the hand of a fellow inmate.
In the most recent incident, a 39-year-old inmate was found unresponsive in his locked, maximum-security cell at 4:20 p.m. June 5, according to Kelly. Life-saving measures were attempted, but the man was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m.
Natural causes are believed to have been the cause, as the man had some medical concerns, but the investigation is still pending, according to Kelly.
That death came exactly one week after a 40-year-old man who was scheduled for release from the Dublin jail died in custody.
Deputies spoke with inmate just before 4 a.m. May 29, and he informed them he was not feeling well, Kelly said. Medical staff said he was conscious but appeared to be in medical distress, and then he became unresponsive while medical staff and jailhouse deputies were present.
The inmate was transported to a hospital and was pronounced dead around 5:35 a.m. that day. Deputies say the man had a history of medical problems, so natural causes are suspected.
Those cases followed the killing of Cesar Augusto Pajuelo, a 70-year-old inmate who was found severely beaten and unconscious in his cell around 6 a.m. on March 10. Kelly said at the time that Pajuelo's cellmate, 19-year-old Paul Stefano who was in the cell with Pajuelo when deputies found the injured inmate, was then arrested on suspicion of murder.
Pajuelo had been at the jail for over a year, facing charges of child sex abuse. Stefano had been booked into custody at Santa Rita just four days before the killing on suspicion of auto theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.