The Orange County Sheriff's Department issued a press release yesterday announcing the death of Lewis Gordon, a 64-year-old Orange County Jail inmate. Lewis, who was arrested last May by police in Santa Ana, died at Anaheim's Western Medical Center on Nov. 26 of an unspecified “serious illness.”
According to the press release, Gordon was transported to the hospital “10 days before his death,” so its unclear when Sheriff's officials learned of the illness. Was his medical condition known at the time of his arrest back in May? Was he diagnosed at the facility? Was his condition treatable?
Depending on the answers to those questions, it would make sense to also ask why Gordon wasn't taken to the hospital sooner, but since the press release doesn't provide any details, we'll have to wait for an official coroner's report, or the findings of the Orange County District Attorney, which routinely investigates all in-custody deaths.
Just about the only details included in the sheriff's terse statement was the date of the arrest–May 23–and the charges he was facing: assault with a deadly weapon and being a parolee at large. The Sheriff's Dept. only began issuing press releases about inmate deaths last year, after the Weekly reported about the March 2010 death of inmate Michelle Gee, who hung herself in her cell just a few hours after several reporters toured the Orange County Jail.