Man dies in Taos County jail


Less than two weeks after Juan Espinoza-Garcia killed himself in the Taos County Adult Detention Center, another person has died in the jail.

The Taos County Sheriff's Office was dispatched on July 28 to the jail, located at 105 Albright St. According to a statement from the sheriff's office, the man was found to be unresponsive and was later declared dead.

The Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) and the sheriff's office are investigating the death, the statement said.

A name has not been released and further details are not yet known.

This marks the second death in the county-run jail in July and the fifth since 2009.

Espinoza-Garcia overdosed on heroin at Walmart in early July, but was saved with anti-overdose drugs. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where he walked out. He had been driving a vehicle with stolen plates, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was picked up by law enforcement in Albuquerque on July 15 and brought back to the Taos County jail, where he killed himself July 16.

Both top management at the county and the director of the detention center see Espinoza-Garcia's death not as failure of staff, nor of policies and procedures, but as an unfortunate fact of jails.

“These things happen in detention centers,” Taos County Manager Leandro Cordova said last week.