August 10, 2013 in City

Inmate, 57, dies at county jail

No evidence of foul play discovered, official says
By The Spokesman-Review

An inmate died Thursday night in the Spokane County Jail, prompting an investigation into the cause and manner of the death.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory said 57-year-old John E. Murphy was discovered unresponsive at 10:30 p.m.

“Medical assistance was requested and life-saving measures were attempted by Corrections officers and nurses, but unfortunately they were unsuccessful,” Gregory said in a news release.

Murphy was not alone in his cell but detectives did not find evidence of foul play, Gregory said.

“No inmates are saying they saw any indications of problems,” Gregory said.

Major crimes detectives will investigate the death, and the Spokane County medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Murphy was identified late Friday by the medical examiner’s office.

This is at least the second inmate death in six months at the jail.

Chief Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said last week that he is reviewing the criminal investigation into the Feb. 24 death of 33-year-old Christopher J. Parker.

Corrections deputies used a Taser to shock Parker and placed him in a restraint chair. He died later that morning.

After his death, the Washington State Patrol took over the investigation into the six deputies who interacted with Parker.

Driscoll declined to say whether the WSP detectives submitted charging recommendations for any of the deputies.

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