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Jail inmate commits suicide

2-8-2010 Minnesota:

UPDATE: Despite life-saving efforts by jail staff, ambulance personnel, medical staff at Fairview Medical Center and North Memorial Hospital, Walter Alan Wildhirt died on on Saturday, Feb. 6 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.

Correctional officers found convicted sex offender Walter Allen Wildhirt, 32, had attempted suicide in the Mille Lacs County Jail on Thursday, Feb. 4. He was scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.

According to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren, a well-being check was conducted at approximately 5:20 a.m. when they found Wildhirt out of his bed.

Wildhirt attempted suicide using the bed sheet, which he attached to a sprinkler head grate on the wall. He wrapped the sheet around his neck.

Twenty-five minutes prior to that, a well-being check found Wildhirt in bed under the covers.

Correctional officers performed life-saving measures on Wildhirt, including CPR, assisted breathing, and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).

North Memorial Ambulance transported Wildhirt to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton. Lindgren reported that Wildhirt had a pulse when the ambulance transported him.

Wildhirt was then transported to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.

He was in jail for a recent conviction of first and second degree criminal sexual conduct and was to be sentenced on Friday, Feb. 5. He is facing a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Wildhirt has been in custody since Sept. 15, 2009 on $300,000 bail. Carlton County also has an additional hold on Wildhirt.

He has two prior sexual assault convictions and multiple felonies, including burglaries, theft, dishonored checks and fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

The sheriff praised his staff. “They did their job and that’s why they do those well-being checks,” Lindgren said. "Hopefully we got to this individual in time.

We may or may not have been successful in this case, we’ll have to wait and see.”

The BCA will assist with an inquiry into Wildhirt’s suicide attempt to ensure there is no appearance of conflict of interest. ..Source.. by Dawn Slade

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