News brief: Intoxicated inmate either fell or jumped to his death

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 9:53 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The inmate who died Friday night at the Thurston County Jail has been identified as 41-year-old Blake C. Matthews.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said Matthews was standing on a top bunk, leaning forward, when he appeared to a corrections officer to jump head first onto the floor.

It happened shortly before 11:20 p.m. in a holding cell where Matthews was alone and waiting to be booked, according to sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin.

Matthews had been arrested less than two hours earlier by the Lacey Police Department for assaulting a bus driver, and on a warrant for a fourth-degree domestic violence assault, Elwin said.

There was no suicide note, no indication ahead of time, Elwin said. Matthews was intoxicated however, he said.

“So, we don’t know what happened; we don’t know if it was an intentional act or he lost his balance,” he said. “We can’t tell for sure.”

An autopsy yesterday concluded Matthews cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, according to Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock. Whether was an accident or suicide is not yet known, Warnock said.

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2 Responses to “News brief: Intoxicated inmate either fell or jumped to his death”

  1. some one said........ says:

    I believe the officers. Undetermined.

  2. leslie says:

    how sad….

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