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Tuesday, December 18, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Soap Lake man dies in Grant County Jail

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 13, 2018, 7:44 p.m.

A 34-year-old man was found dead in his cell in the Grant County Jail on Sunday morning.

Derek A. Batton, of Soap Lake, had been booked into the jail in Ephrata around 11:35 p.m. Friday, according to a news release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the detention facility.

Soap Lake police had arrested Batton earlier Friday on three out-of-county warrants, the sheriff’s office said. One warrant was for failing to appear in court for a hearing on a drunken-driving charge, one was for driving with a suspended license, and one was for a violation related to an ignition interlock device.

Around 10:45 a.m. Sunday, corrections deputies found Batton unresponsive in his bunk and tried unsuccessfully to revive him, the sheriff’s office said. Paramedics pronounced him dead a short time later, the sheriff’s office said.

The Grant County coroner conducted an autopsy Monday morning, and officials are awaiting lab results to determine the cause of Batton’s death. A detective has been assigned to investigate the incident, through the sheriff’s office said it does not suspect foul play.

Meanwhile, officials continue to investigate how seven people died at the Spokane County Jail in just 14 months. Three of those deaths were suicides by hanging, and the most recent death, which happened early Thursday, is under investigation as a possible homicide.


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