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News >  Idaho

Bonner inmate dies in apparent suicide

Taryn Brodwater Staff writer

A 20-year-old man in jail for a probation violation was found dead Tuesday evening in an isolation cell at the Bonner County Jail.

Bonner County Sheriff’s Capt. John Valdez said jail employees and medical staff were making their regular rounds shortly before 5 p.m. when they discovered that inmate Jason John Hamberg had apparently committed suicide. Valdez said it appeared Hamberg, who was booked into the jail Sept. 23, hanged himself using a bedsheet.

“He’s had a lot of problems in his life,” Valdez said.

Though only 20 years old, Hamberg had an extensive criminal history in Bonner County, Valdez said, including charges of passing bad checks, disturbing the peace, theft and rape. Valdez said Hamberg had previously attempted suicide.

He was not on suicide watch at the jail at the time of his death, Valdez said.

According to Kootenai County court records, both of Hamberg’s parents are deceased. The state Department of Health and Welfare placed him at Anchor House, a Coeur d’Alene home for troubled children.

Hamberg was twice arrested as a juvenile for running away from the group home.

Sandpoint Police reported to the jail Tuesday evening, and the Idaho State Police is investigating the death. Valdez said Hamberg’s death was the first suicide in the facility, though another inmate attempted suicide a few years ago.

Counseling is being provided to the jail employees, Valdez said.

“It was a fairly traumatic event,” Valdez said. “They are all shook up about it.”

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