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Ninth Cuyahoga County Inmate Dies Since June

A 36-year-old inmate at the Cuyahoga County Jail died after being found unresponsive Friday afternoon. It's the ninth death of county prisoner since June of 2018.

County officials say the dead man was Nicholas Colbert of Cleveland. His wife was notified of his death late Friday.

"At about 2:28 (Friday afternoon), a corrections officer found him unresponsive," county spokesperson Mary Louise Madigan said. "He immediately called EMS."

Emergency personnel took about 10 minutes to arrive, according to Madigan.

"In the meantime, he was treated by medical personnel and corrections officers, and at about 2:47 EMS left," Madigan said. They transported Colbert to MetroHealth's Main Campus Medical Center where he was pronouinced dead.

Madigan said Colbert was admitted to the jail Wednesday after being arrested on a drug possession charge in Maple Heights.At his initial hearing in Garfield Heights Municipal Court, his bond had been set at $1,500.

"He received an intake screening from the medical personnel who work with us in the jail," Madigan said. 

The county recently signed an agreement with the MetroHealth System to provide all medical services at the jail after a U.S. Marshals Service report last fall described conditions there as inhumane. Several of the issues detailed by the marshals involved inadequate medical care. The county now faces multiple lawsuits from inmates who allege mistreatment while in custody.

Madigan said Colbert was in general population Thursday and showed no signs of any medical problems. He was moved to a special pod for veterans Friday morning.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet announced Colbert's cause of death.

Eight of the prisoners who have died in county custody since last year were being held at the main County Jail at the Justice Center. One died at the Euclid Jail Annex operated by the county. 

This a developing story that will be updated.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.