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Inmate with suicide history poisons self and dies

8-11-2009 Wisconsin:

A 41-year-old Milwaukee man who had a history of trying to commit suicide by drinking cleaning fluids died last month, two days after he drank rubbing alcohol at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, where he was incarcerated and worked as a janitor.

Officials at the detention facility were aware of Myron Christopher Weston's suicidal history when he volunteered to work as a janitor, a job he began in April, said John Dipko, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

Weston was "showing positive adjustment during his time (at the Secure Detention Facility) and preparing for his release into the community," Dipko wrote in an e-mail.

Weston's death has been ruled a suicide, according to a Milwaukee County medical examiner's report.

An autopsy determined Weston died of acute isopropyl alcohol intoxication.

Weston, who suffered from schizoaffective disorder and was taking six medications, reported on the day he was admitted to the facility in January that he had tried to kill himself about six times by drinking cleaning fluids and taking pills, the report says.

None of the previous suicide attempts occurred at the detention facility or any other state-run prison, Dipko said.

It was not clear Tuesday where or when the other suicide attempts took place. A woman who answered Tuesday at a phone number listed to Weston's mother declined to comment.

The Milwaukee County district attorney's office is investigating Weston's death, which is standard procedure whenever a person dies while in custody, District Attorney John T. Chisholm said.

Investigators have found no signs of foul play and are focusing on whether any procedural or communications changes should be implemented, Chisholm said.

An internal review of Weston's death also is under way, Dipko said.

Weston was admitted to the detention facility on Jan. 7 because of a probation violation and was scheduled to be released Sept. 21, Dipko said.

Weston was unresponsive, in shock and suffering from liver failure when he was rushed to Aurora Sinai Medical Center the morning of July 26, according to the medical examiner's report.

He was placed on a ventilator but died July 28.

Weston may have become depressed after his girlfriend broke up with him over the phone July 18 and blocked her phone number from receiving his calls, according to the report.

According to online court records, Weston's criminal history included convictions for theft and substantial battery, both felonies, and having sex with a child who was between the ages of 16 and 18, a misdemeanor.

Weston's mother told investigators she did not think her son tried to commit suicide because he was looking forward to being released, according to the medical examiner's report. ..Source.. by Ryan Haggerty of the Journal Sentinel

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