A man sentenced to life in prison last week for murdering one of his accusers in a 2007 assault case was found dead in the Spokane County Jail early Monday.
Christopher H. Devlin, 57, didn’t get out of bed when served breakfast about 6:30 a.m., but a jailer thought he saw his leg move, assumed he was refusing to eat, and removed the meal, said sheriff’s Lt. Aaron Anderton.
Another employee found Devlin dead about 8:30 a.m., Anderton said.
Devlin was found face down in his bed. There were no obvious signs of violence.
Anderton said Devlin’s death appears to have been self-inflicted or from natural causes but said investigators are awaiting an autopsy. An estimated time of death will help investigators determine if procedures were followed when Devlin didn’t retrieve his breakfast at 6:30 a.m., Anderton said.
The situation is similar to the Nov. 11 death of Fredrick James Juhnke, who had died from a burst artery but lay in his cell for eight hours before jail deputies found him. Two deputies were disciplined in that case: one was fired and one resigned, including a deputy who falsified jail logs to try to hide the fact that they didn’t make half-hourly checks on inmates as required.