OC Prosecutors: Nothing Fishy in Theo Lacy Inmate Death

OC Prosecutors: Nothing Fishy in Theo Lacy Inmate Death

In the early morning hours of September 1, 2012, Marco Ortiz noticed something wrong with his Theo Lacy cellmate Byron Ray Baker. Ortiz pressed the emergency button and told guards that Baker was having a seizure. Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Pawlikowski responded and found Baker lying unresponsive on the floor.

An investigation into the incident by the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) offices says that Pawlikowski found no evidence of foul play and immediately called for backup medical assistance. The Orange Fire Department arrived 12 minutes after Ortiz's initial call for help.

They transferred Baker to the emergency room of the nearby UC Irvine Medical Center. Later on that afternoon, a doctor pronounced him deceased. An autopsy noted the cause of death due to a ruptured brain aneurism.

With no evidence of foul play, the OCDA concluded in its report this week that all jail staff and personnel acted within policy and that there's no criminal culpability on anyone's behalf in the jail death of Baker.

Read the investigation letter in its entirety online.

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2

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