BEMIDJI -- A 27-year-old man died Sunday in the Beltrami County Jail from an “unknown medical condition,” officials said Tuesday.
Hardel H. Sherrell, of Apple Valley, Minn., “collapsed and became unresponsive” at approximately 4:58 p.m., according to a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.
The jail staff undertook CPR and used an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to revive Sherrell. He died at the facility.
An investigation into the death is being conducted by several area agencies, including the Beltrami County Coroner’s Office, the Bemidji Police Department and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, officials said.
According to Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel, Sherrell had been in the Beltrami County Jail since Friday, Aug. 24. He was arrested in Dakota County on a local warrant for felon in possession of a firearm.
In addition to the local investigation into the cause of Sherrell’s death, the Minnesota Department of Corrections undertakes an investigation into jail facilities whenever an inmate dies in custody.
Sherrell was the third inmate to die while in the custody of the Beltrami County Jail the past few years.
Stephanie Bunker died in the hospital after authorities found her hanging in her cell in July 2017. Tony May died in the jail in August 2016 from “possible sudden cardiac death,” according to the autopsy report.
After its investigations, the state DOC determined jail staff had violated certain rules regarding welfare checks on inmates.
For May, the DOC determined the jail violated rules that require it to check on inmates every half hour. One violation was a mere 16 seconds late; another was seven minutes and 47 seconds in the hours leading up to his death. Jail administrators said the delay was due to the fact that the facility was understaffed and that there are certain factors outside the staff’s control, such as an inmate’s overall health. May had a heart defect known as myocardial bridging.
For Bunker, the DOC indicated there were times when the jail lagged in the 15-minute watch that had been placed on Bunker. The jail staff disputed the findings of the DOC regarding Bunker, saying she had been moved from the status of “special management inmate” to general population but that the DOC had focused on the earlier status when making its review.