Graham County Adult Detention Facility inmate death still under investigation
By Jon Johnson
GREENLEE COUNTY – Greenlee County Jail inmate William Scott’s death has been deemed a suicide with the cause of death being asphyxiation from hanging, according to a preliminary report by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Scott, 32, was booked into the Greenlee County Jail on Thursday, Oct. 11, on charges of possession of a narcotic drug, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and prohibited possession of a deadly weapon. He was booked and placed by himself into one of the three single holding cells attached to the booking area. According to a report from the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office, the cells are used to hold inmates until they are seen by a judge. Inmates are then generally either released or processed to the general population of the jail.
However, sometime over the night, Scott managed to manipulate his bedsheet into a rope and tie it to a ceiling air vent above his metal bunk. He was later found hanging by the sheet at about 7:41 a.m., Friday, Oct. 12, when a detention officer on the morning shift began to prepare a different inmate for a transfer to Graham County. As the detention officer was waiting for the second inmate to get dressed, he checked on Scott and saw him hanging by the bed sheet, according to reports from the jail and Sheriff’s Office.
Paramedics and Greenlee County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene to assist the jail staff, and Scott was declared deceased at 8:08 a.m. Rigor mortis had already begun to set in, however, and a medical staff member estimated the actual time of death to be roughly at 5 a.m.
Scott was removed by McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory and was then later transported to Tucson for an autopsy by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The investigation into Scott’s death remains open pending the official results of his autopsy.
Graham County Adult Detention Facility death
The death of Luis Carlos Lopez Jr., 21, in the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on Oct. 20 is ongoing and no official cause of death has been reported.
Lopez was booked into the jail Oct. 19 on a warrant regarding previous charges of possession of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a weapon during a drug offense.
He was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday, Oct. 20, and was taken to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where he was declared deceased.