Immigration Detainee Dies at Theo Lacy Jail

Remember that cover story that ran in the Weekly a few weeks back about suicides and strange deaths inside Orange County jails? The one that mentioned how the Sheriff's Department is filling up empty bunks with hundreds of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees?

Well, now we can add an ICE detainee to the list of recent deaths inside the jail system. According to a Feb. 1 article in The Orange County Register, a 55-year-old Honduran named Jose Aguilar-Espinoza suffered a heart attack inside Theo Lacy and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at UCI Medical Center.

As is routine with all deaths that occur inside the OC Jail, the district attorney's office will investigate the incident and won't comment until that's done. Neither will the Sheriff's Department, for that matter. An autopsy is pending. Besides that, all we know so far is that Espinoza was arrested on Jan. 12 and was awaiting a deportation hearing, along with about 800 other ICE detainees currently housed in OC jails.

He's the fifth detainee to die nationwide since Oct. 1.


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