Investigating jail deaths in Northern Utah
Utah has the most jail deaths per capita in the nation,
according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Weber and Davis counties are among the worst in the state, outstripping even more populous Salt Lake County in death rates, data gathered by the Standard-Examiner shows. The following story archive is the first part of a yearlong effort by the Standard-Examiner to report on the people behind the mugshots and how they died.
Stories on jail policies
Stories by jail
Select a button below to filter our coverage by jail.
Friday, April 28, 2017
OGDEN — Isaura Martinez wonders why her son didn’t call. “My son always talked to me and told me everything, good or bad things.” Martinez said Wednesday, April 26.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
OGDEN — Matthew Ryan Hall, who was paralyzed after falling in a Weber County Jail cell, refused to take medication or participate in mental illness treatment prior to injuring himself, court records say.
Friday, April 14, 2017
OGDEN — On Dec. 4, 2016, Jesus Gomez-Martinez walked into traffic on Wall Avenue after telling staff at the Lantern House homeless shelter that he was going to kill himself.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
OGDEN — Supporting a $300-a-day heroin habit got too expensive for Marion Herrera. Police arrested the 40-year-old Ogden woman on a check forgery allegation, and she died 3 ½ days later while withdrawing from the street drug in the Weber County Jail.
Friday, March 28, 2014
OGDEN — An independent review has concluded there were no indications of mistreatment by jail staff or unduly biased adjudication against Matthew David Stewart leading up to the murder suspect’s May 24, 2013 suicide by hanging.
Monday, July 11, 2016
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigated the death of immigration detainee Amra Miletic, 47, who died March 20, 2011 after a 47-day stay at the Weber County Jail.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
OGDEN --- The attorney for the man accused of murdering a Washington Terrace woman for money said he is not shocked to hear about his client’s death in jail.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
OGDEN — A Disability Law Center attorney on Monday, April 17, challenged assertions that a jail inmate who died after a paralyzing fall had been faking mental illness.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
The Standard-Examiner received documents related to the investigation of Marion Herrera’s death through a Government Records Access Management Act (GRAMA) request.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
OGDEN — An attorney has filed notice of intent to sue Weber County over the death of a 40-year-old jail inmate who sheriff’s officials said was in heroin withdrawal.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
OGDEN — Deputies are investigating after a woman booked into the Weber County Jail was found dead last month. Marion Herrera, 41, was booked into the Weber County Jail on May 18 on suspicion of forgery and theft, Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Lane Findlay said.
Monday, July 11, 2016
OGDEN — Bosnian Amra Miletic was one of the last immigration detainees to be housed in the Weber County Jail. Miletic died in a holding cell March 20, 2011. “You people don’t know what you are doing,” she had told a nurse two days earlier. Less than an hour before she died, she grabbed a nurse’s hand and said, “I’m dying.”
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
OGDEN— Jeffrey Dean White, 43, charged with murdering his girlfriend, was found dead late Wednesday night in his cell at the Weber County Jail.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
OGDEN — Matthew David Stewart’s father told the Weber County Commission on Tuesday that the jail failed to protect his son and ignored his complaints about conditions, leading to the murder suspect’s death by hanging May 24.
Do you have a story to share about jail deaths in Utah? Contact us.
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Or contact our reporter
Mark Shenefelt at firstname.lastname@example.org Report a jail death:
State law does not require jails to report an in-custody death to the public. Sometimes jails choose to send out press releases, but that's not typically the case. If you know someone who has died in a Utah jail, contact the Standard-Examiner at email@example.com with a name of the deceased and the name of the jail where they were in custody.
Requesting an autopsy:
An autopsy report is an official record of a medical examiner's findings during a post-mortem examination. That typically includes information on cause of death and details about the condition of the body as it relates to the factors around death.
In Utah, an autopsy report can only be released to immediate family members and legal representatives. The report is not automatically released to family — it needs to be requested and approved by the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.
An Immediate family member is defined as a "surviving spouse, child, natural or adoptive parent, any full or half sibling, and any child aged 18 or older," according to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner website. There is no time limit to when a record can be requested.