jail death ruled homicide


East County News Service

March 2, 2023 (San Diego) – 46-year-old Lonnie Newton Rupard, a mentally ill homeless man, was found unresponsive in his cell at San Diego Central Jail on March 17, 2022. Sheriff's deputies and medical staff performed lifesaving measures until he was transported to a hospital, where he died.

Today, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's (M.E.) Office released its autopsy report which found the manner of death was homicide. The preliminary cause of death is pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration related to untreated mental conditions along with COVID-19 viral infection, pulmonary emphysema and duodenal ulcer as contributing factors, though the report also found blunt force injuries to his head, torso and extremities. Though he had schizophrenia and psychosis, he had refused medications while in custody and threatened to kill medical providers who tried to treat him, according to the report.

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