First inmate death at new Carson City Jail a possible suicide
With only about two days left in his jail sentence, inmate Joshua Andrew Gregory, 20, was found dead in his cell Saturday morning at the Carson City Jail, officials said.
Gregory was found with a sheet tied around his neck and to the bunk, said Chief Deputy Jerry Mather of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department.
The death is being regarded as a possible suicide. A preliminary report confirming cause of death is expected from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department in the next day or two, Mather said.
After Gregory’s body was found at 7:20 a.m. Saturday, Sheriff Rod Banister and several high ranking officers in the Sheriff’s Department stopped by to personally investigate. The investigation was then officially handed off to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department.
“We were all down there (Saturday) morning,” Mather said. “We didn’t see any immediate changes we need to make.”
The department will make a complete review of its jail policies and procedures once Washoe completes its independent report, Mather said.
Gregory’s death is the first in the new Carson City Jail, which opened a year ago on April 3, 1999 and the first at the Carson City Jail since inmate Houston Hite hanged himself at the old jail in 1994.
The Hite death led to a wrongful death lawsuit that sparked a court saga lasting until last year, when the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that deputies did not show deliberate indifference toward Hite.
Joshua Gregory’s death within days of his release triggers questions that Mather hopes are answered in the investigation.
Gregory, who turned 20 on March 21, and Alisha Turner, then 19, were arrested Nov. 29, 1999, for burglarizing a home on the 1600 block of Brown Street.
Gregory pleaded guilty March 14 to felony class D attempted theft and he was sentenced to 12 to 30 months in prison. The prison sentence was suspended and Gregory was sent to jail for 30 days, which would have been followed by 180 days of house arrest and three years probation, Mather said.
Gregory had been given credit for 17 days time served in jail before he was sentenced. He served about 11 or 12 of the remaining days of his sentence when he was found dead.