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Cuyahoga County investigating a death at the Downtown Cleveland jail

The county says it is investigating the death of Adam Weakley. [Matthew Richmond / Ideastream Public Media]
Cuyahoga County jail in Downtown Cleveland

A man held at the Cuyahoga County jail has died, according to a statement from Sheriff Christopher Viland.

Thirty-year-old Adam Weakley was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday evening, the statement said. He was brought to MetroHealth Medical Center and pronounced dead about an hour later.

“We offer our deepest condolences to those close to Mr. Weakley,” Viland said. “An in-depth investigation has begun, and we will be working with our partners at MetroHealth Medical Center and the County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine what occurred.” 

According to the statement, Weakley arrived at the jail on Jan. 12, 2022. Court records show a pending case from September 2020 for aggravated burglary and aggravated menacing, allegedly involving breaking into a home and threatening someone with physical harm.

In January 2021, Weakley’s case was delayed six months after a court psychiatrist found him unable to stand trial. In July 2021, there was another six month delay after a psychiatrist again found him not competent to stand trial.

It is unclear from the court records why he was brought to jail earlier this month. A pretrial hearing in Weakley’s case was scheduled for Tuesday.

The medical examiner has not released a cause of death.

Over the course of a year, from 2018 to 2019, there were nine deaths at the county jail. The former jail director, Ken Mills, was eventually convicted and sent to prison for the deterioration of conditions there.

The jail has struggled with staffing shortages since then and some have questioned whether conditions at the jail have improved much since the warden, jail director and county sheriff were replaced.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.