FARMINGTON — An inmate died after hanging himself with a shredded bed sheet in his cell at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Monday, according to authorities.
Stephen Freeman, 53, from Bloomfield, was scheduled for a jury trial in Aztec District Court on Dec. 30 for narcotic drug charges among other charges, according to court records. He also was a convicted sex offender, according to court records.
Freeman showed no signs he was contemplating suicide, said Cory Tanner, a San Juan County Sheriff's Office detective lieutenant.
"His neighboring cell mates said that he didn't say anything about it," he said.
Deputies were dispatched to the jail before noon, according to a sheriff's office press release. Sheriff's office Detective Sgt. Kyle Lincoln said medics also responded.
Freeman lived in his cell alone, according to the press release.
Surveillance video shows jail staff visually checked Freeman through his cell window approximately an hour before he hung himself, and he was fine, according to the press release.
Court records indicate Freeman had an extensive criminal history.
In 1993 he was charged with criminal sexual contact of a minor. In 2001 he was charged with criminal penetration of a child younger than 13. In 2003 he was charged with battery against a household member. In December 2013 he was charged with failure to register as a sex offender.
In January and February he was charged with stalking. Also in February he was charged with possessing narcotics. And in November he was again charged with battery against a household member.
In addition to his scheduled court appearance on the narcotics charges, Freeman was slated to appear in January for a pre-trial conference in Aztec District Court for the stalking and battery charges.
Efforts to reach jail administrator Tom Havel for comment Monday evening were unsuccessful. ..Source.. by Dan Schwartz