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Detention Center inmate attempts suicide

12-29-2010 Arizona:

An inmate at the Cascade County Detention Center remained in critical condition Tuesday after he attempted suicide on Monday.

Phillip J. Humeyumptewa, 30, was found unconscious and hanging from a bed-sheet in his cell Monday, about eight minutes after a jail guard checked on him, according to Chief Capt. Dan O'Fallon of the Cascade County Sheriff's Office, who supervises the detention center.

Humeyumptewa suffered cardiac arrest as a result of the hanging, O'Fallon said. Humeyumptewa was transported to the emergency room at Benefis Health System after detention center staff and emergency responders were able to revive him and restart his heart.

As of Tuesday, Humeyumptewa was still in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

"Due to the great work of the staff in that housing area, he wasn't successful (in committing suicide)," O'Fallon said.

He said Humeyumptewa showed no signs of wanting to kill himself, adding that inmates who have suicidal tendencies are placed on suicide watch.

Humeyumptewa's suicide attempt came a month after another county inmate hanged himself. Andrew Diaz III, 31, died in the early morning hours of Nov. 27. Diaz also hanged himself with his bed-sheets.

According to court documents filed Tuesday, Humeyumptewa's chances for recovery seem grim. The County Attorney's Office filed a motion Tuesday to reduce his bail and release him on his own recognizance because of the severity of his condition.

"It appears the defendant is brain dead, and it is unlikely that his condition will change," the motion states.

Humeyumptewa's family has been informed, and it will be up to them to make any end-of-life decisions, according to the state's motion. Representatives from the County Attorney's Office did not return inquiries for comment Tuesday.

Humeyumptewa remains in the custody of the jail pending a decision by a Cascade County District Court judge.

Humeyumptewa was convicted in September of kidnapping and raping a woman in Great Falls last year. He has remained in the detention center since the trial, awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 20.

Humeyumptewa was accused of tying up and raping a woman he met at a Great Falls bar in September 2009. Court documents allege that he used neckties to tie the victim's wrists and ankles together, and forced her to have sex with him in his residence on the 700 block of 5th Avenue North.

Two more women came forward after he was charged and alleged that he forced them to have sex with him without their consent. In September, a jury found Humeyumptewa guilty of the first count of sex without consent and of two felony charges of kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence.

Humeyumptewa has been a registered sex offender since a 1997 conviction in Arizona on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor. He was arrested in August — while awaiting trial in the Cascade County jail — on a warrant out of Maricopa County, Ariz., alleging that he committed felony kidnapping, aggravated assault and sexual assault. Those charges stemmed from an incident in December 2001. ..Source.. by Kimball Bennion


Inmate dies 2 days after jail cell hanging

GREAT FALLS — Cascade County officials say a 30-year-old man awaiting sentencing on rape and kidnapping charges has died at a Great Falls hospital two days after he was found hanging in his jail cell.

Deputy County Attorney Josh Racki says Phillip J. Humeyumptewa died Wednesday evening at Benefis Health System after a suicide attempt Monday afternoon.

Humeyumptewa was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell at the Cascade County Detention Center about eight minutes after a guard had checked on him. He suffered cardiac arrest and was taken to the hospital after jail staff and emergency responders managed to restore his heart beat. ..Source.. by Billings Gazette

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