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Inmate dies in new jail that’s supposed to be safer for detainees

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A 45-year-old man died Jan. 17 in the jail at the new Community Justice Campus, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Staff at the Adult Detention Center found Jonas Mooneyham unresponsive and not breathing at 6:50 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. Staff started CPR, called for medical staff and requested help from Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, which pronounced Mooneyham dead at 7:07 a.m.

Preliminary information suggests Mooneyham died by suicide, the sheriff’s office said.

Mooneyham, who was white, was booked into the facility Jan. 15 on preliminary charges of possession of a narcotic drug, robbery and resisting law enforcement. He also had a warrant in Hendricks County for drug possession felonies.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Forensic Services Agency will investigate the death, along with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Unit.

Mooneyham’s death came two days after the sheriff’s office started moving detainees to the new detention center from Marion County Jail 1, Marion County Jail 2 and the City-County Building.

Around 700 detainees remained at Jail 2 as of Jan. 10 and should be moved to the new jail by the end of the month.

During a tour of the jail that was open to press, the sheriff’s office touted the jail’s enhanced safeguards against suicide. The sheriff’s office said Mooneyham was not housed in a suicide housing unit because he “did not present with suicidal ideations at or after booking.” He was in a detox housing unit.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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