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WA- Inmate dies after suicide attempt

11-2-2009 Washington:

Man was awaiting sentencing for rape

An inmate at the Clark County Jail awaiting sentencing for a rape charge has died after hanging himself inside a jail cell.

William L. Ward died Oct. 28 of asphyxia, three days after he was found unconscious in a jail cell and rushed to Southwest Washington Medical Center.

Ward was in custody awaiting a Nov. 18 sentencing for third-degree rape. He was also serving time for driving under the influence and domestic violence fourth-degree assault convictions, said Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Scott Schanaker.

At about 6:45 p.m. Oct. 25, Ward's cell mate returned and found Ward hanging by his bedsheets from the cell's sprinkler system. The cell mate alerted a custody officer.

Officers performed CPR on Ward and managed to resuscitate him, Schanaker said. He was taken to the hospital, where he died. His body was released to the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office, which ruled on the cause of death.

Schanaker said Ward had made earlier threats to commit suicide, but was not on suicide watch at the jail.

He was taking anti-anxiety and depression medications but had started "cheeking," or not swallowing his pills, Schanaker said. ..Source.. by LAURA MCVICKER

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