Sheriff Releases Information About Recent In-Jail Deaths
In response to inquiries from some in the Tri-Cities Community, Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond has released specific information about four deaths that have occurred over the last year involving the county jail.
Three deaths in-jail, one post custody
Raymond released the information this week and did say certain details were withheld due to circumstances concerning family members and other sensitive factors.
On November 21st, 2021, Jesus Payan was found unresponsive, with a section of cell bedding around his neck. He had been in an isolation unit due to COVID, and was scheduled to be put in the general population the next day. He'd been in jail for 17 days on 1st Degree Robbery and Assault charges. The death was ruled a suicide. The investigation revealed that Payan had told people in the community he would harm himself in jail, but this information was not made known to the FSCO until afterward.
On February 22nd. of this year, Thomas Franklin was being held in jail concerning an arrest warrant out of Umatilla County. Raymond said he received the standard medical screening, but he was referred to in jail medical staff because he was complaining of pain and discomfort. After collapsing in his cell, he was taken by ambulance to Kadlec in Richland, where he died the next day. It was due to a previous medical condition that was not disclosed to jail medical staff during his intake.
On March 15th, 2022, Faviola Valenzuela was found unconscious in her cell, she'd been booked on March 12th following an arrest by Pasco PD for Destruction or Removal of Property, and had fought with officers during her booking. She was placed in an observation cell, where she remained until her death. The autopsy showed she died from lethal meth intoxication. However, it was discovered during the investigation that a probationary corrections deputy was not following proper protocols and they were terminated the next day.
Then, on July 1st. of this year, Giovanni Magana was found to have hanged himself in an isolation cell. He was found by a corrections deputy who was conducting standard checks just after midnight. Magana had been in the isolation cell due to previous behavioral issues and was awaiting trial on a two-year-old 2nd Degree Murder Charge. His death was ruled a suicide by the county coroner. The investigation into that case is still ongoing.
Raymond also released information about how he and other law enforcement agencies continue to push for the development of a local Mental Health and Recovery Center. The center funding process has already been started by County Commissioners approving a 1/10 of 1 cent sales tax in the two counties.
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