By Frank Lewis
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini says a preliminary autopsy has revealed an inmate in the Scioto County Jail who was pronounced dead at Southern Ohio Medical Center Monday died from natural causes. According to Donini, a preliminary autopsy showed Jeffrey Hosey, 54, suffered from severe coronary artery disease and severe atherostlerotic cardio-vascular disease.
Donini said Hosey was brought in by the Portsmouth Police Department at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. He said on Monday morning around 1:50 a.m. Hosey was “kicking, ranting and raving and making racial slurs” and being obnoxious, yelling, screaming and pounding on the doors.
“It is not abnormal for us to put inmates like that in our holding booth until they calm down or until they come down off their drugs, because sometimes they’re radical when they’re under the influence to begin with. And it’s not real wise to put an inmate like that in general population because, either he’s going to get hurt or he’s going to hurt somebody else,” Donini said. “So it’s standard procedure to leave him there, in booking, where we’ve got constant visual observation of him until they calm down.”
At about 2 a.m. the officer decided to get up and make his rounds. It was then he reportedly found Hosey unresponsive and not breathing.
“He (the officer) calls for help from one of the other officers,” Donini said. “The two of them actually started that defibrillator and went through that process. Right before that I think he called central control to call for a squad. Then they started doing their CPR.” Donini said he does not know if personnel were able to revive him at the jail or not. The actual pronouncement of death was made at SOMC.
Donini said there was no prior signs that Hosey was sick.
“I reviewed everything and from what I understand there wasn’t any signs of illness,” Donini said. “He gave no notification that he was ill or anything of that sort.”
Donini said the sheriff’s office spends approximately a quarter of a million dollars a year on medical care for inmates through a company they contract with, Premier Physicians of Columbus, to provide medical services. He said there are two nurses – one who works 40 hours per week and another who works 24 hours per week. He said the company controls their hours.
“If it is observed or determined that, hey, this is an emergency, we call the squad,” Donini said. “We try to do what we can as far as CPR and we have a couple of defibrillators in the jail and those things are really simple to use.”
He said if anything visible, such as bleeding, occurs, they respond quickly by calling the EMS squad or they transport the inmate themselves.
Donini said all inmates who come in with legitimate up-to-date prescription medication that is prescribed specifically for that inmate receives their medication while they are incarcerated. They also have routine sick call five days a week.
“If an inmate feels ill all he has to do is let one of the C-Os know and they’ll schedule him to see the nurse that day,” Donini said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.