Inmate dies after 24 hours in cell


An inmate booked into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility in Santa Rosa on Friday and found dead Saturday night has been identified as 50-year-old transient Rhonda Jean Everson, the sheriff’s office reported today.

At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, a nurse dispensing medication in a special housing unit at the jail found Everson unresponsive inside a cell, Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said.

After a correctional deputy could not detect a pulse, other jail personnel were called to the scene and paramedics arrived but life-saving attempts failed and Everson was pronounced dead at 9:49 p.m., deputies said.

Everson was arrested and booked into the jail Friday on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, bringing a controlled substance into a jail and violating felony probation, according to Focha.

Jail medical employees screened the inmate and because Everson had an extensive history of substance abuse and associated medical concerns, she was assigned to a special housing unit for inmates going through withdrawals from drug abuse, deputies said.

Everson was placed into a cell in the unit at about 9:40 p.m. on Friday, Focha said.

She awoke Saturday morning and correctional deputies accounted for the inmate in twice-hourly rounds, deputies said.

There is no indication of injury or foul play and the circumstances behind the inmate’s death are still under investigation, according to Focha.

Detectives of the sheriff’s office are conducting the investigation, she said.


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