A 50-year-old inmate died Friday in his cell at the Jefferson County jail.
Deputies doing a routine check at 5:15 a.m. found Paul George Abeyta in a unresponsive state in his cell, according to a news release. Lifesaving measures were carried out until just after 6 a.m., when Abeyta was pronounced dead.
Arrested April 27 by Lakewood police, Abeyta indicated during booking procedures that he had been a daily heroin user for the past five years. He was housed alone in a medical unit of the jail because of drug withdrawal protocol as well as reported coronavirus-related symptoms, including a cough and shortness of breath.
Abeyta did not have a fever upon arriving at the jail, the sheriff’s office said, and subsequent temperature checks did not show fever. In accordance with withdrawal protocol, Abeyta was checked on by deputies.
He was arrested for failure to appear for possession of a controlled substance, the release said.
An investigation is ongoing, and the coroner’s office will determine the cause and manner of his death.