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Sonoma County Jail

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Rocky Record

Dec. 21, 1996
Edgar Avila, 27, a Boyes Hot Springs man who was housed in the mental health unit, commits suicide. According to autopsy reports, Avila had tied a plastic bag around his head.

June 4, 1997
Joanne Marie Holmes, 35, dies in the jail. According to autopsy reports, Holmes suffered a seizure and other complications of heroin withdrawal.

Oct. 28, 1997
John Leroy Banks Sr., 45, a San Francisco heroin addict, dies within hours of being released from the jail. Jail Officials say he was monitored during the five days he was in custody. But his son says Banks was sick and received no medication while in custody.

Nov. 3, 1997
Kenneth Allen Stra, 46, in custody three days, is found dead in his cell. He died from unknown causes.

Feb. 24, 1998
Drue Harris, of Santa Rosa, 30, hangs himself in an infirmary jail cell after being in custody for 17 hours. He was crying and distraught an hour before his death and would still be alive, say his family, if correctional personnel had intervened.

March 9, 1998
Carolyn Telzrow of Santa Rosa, 47, commits suicide by hanging herself in one of the jail infirmary cells. Her family says Telzrow was in pain because she was not administered methadone.

March 14, 1998
Inmates Donnie Ray King, 22, and Mark Hagen, 38, escape from the jail by brazenly walking out of the facility's front door. They are later captured.

March 28, 1998
Theresa Mary Ramirez, 46, tries to kill herself in the jail. She is found hanging in the shower area of the jail's infirmary. She reportedly used a sheet from her bedding. Ramirez was not on suicide watch although she had attempted suicide prior to being arrested.

April 15, 1998
At least 29 jail guards are under investigation for downloading Internet pornography while on duty.

April 20, 1998
Inmate Leonel Garcia Betancourt, 28, an inmate awaiting trial for attempted murder, walks away from a public defender investigator who is escorting him back to the jail after a medical procedure. Betancourt is still at large; also inmate Michael James Carter, 21, tries to escape from the jail and is found trapped in the ceiling two hours after he was reported missing.

May 19, 1998
Joshua Voss, 23, attempts suicide by slashing his throat with a piece of his shaving razor. He is found by a correctional officer. He reportedly had attempted suicide prior to being arrested.

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From the June 25-July 1, 1998 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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