Jail suicide investigation done; case referred to district attorney | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Jail suicide investigation done; case referred to district attorney

An investigation into the apparent May suicide of a Gardnerville man while in custody is complete and authorities are waiting on a review by Douglas County District Attorney Scott Doyle.

Sheriff Ron Pierini said Monday the investigation, which was conducted with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, is finished. He did not comment further pending the outcome of Doyle’s review.

Joseph Edwin Manoukian, 27, was found unconscious hanging from a noose made of bedsheets May 26. He died two days later at Washoe Medical Center.

The sheriff’s office wants to prevent any future incidents in the jail, which has seen three suicides in 12 months.

Earlier this year, Thomas Soria Sr., 40, killed himself in jail after hoarding heart medication.

Also, Westley A. Odysseus, 43, died last July after choking on his own vomit while in Minden’s jail after an alleged drug overdose the night before.

The suicide rate is nine times greater inside a county jail than in the general U.S. population.

Family members have publicly questioned why Manoukian wasn’t placed on a suicide watch. Following a mental evaluation after arriving in jail, he was prescribed antidepressant drugs.

Manoukian was sentenced to six months in jail by East Fork Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl on May 21 after arriving 25 minutes late for court and for failing to secure employment, according to court papers.

His six-month sentence was suspended after he pleaded guilty to writing more than $1,000 in bad checks last year and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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