Genesee County jail inmate found dead - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County jail inmate found dead

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(03/12/12) - The Genesee County Sheriff's Department is investigating the third death of an inmate in less than a year. Around 9 a.m. Monday morning, 63-year-old Wayne Smith was discovered unresponsive in his jail cell. His death comes after a long history of heart problems.

Genesee County Undersheriff, Chris Swanson, says they believe he died of natural causes. "Nothing appears to be suspicious, we have searched the cell," Swanson said.

At the time of Smith's death, Smith was being treated for a serious heart condition. "In addition to his criminal background, he also came to the Genesee County Jail with a tremendous medical condition," Swanson said.

Smith was booked in December 2009 and charged with four counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct. There were two victims under the age of 13 and they were relatives of Smith, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

Smith's health problems combined with a change of his lawyer four times delayed his trial. "When you change four different times, that means four lawyers have to learn the case, learn the facts, talk to the witnesses and prepare the trial," Leyton said.

Smith was the third inmate death in a year at the Genesee County Jail. In April of 2011, toxicology reports show 30-year-old Jesse Goode died of a heroin overdose.

Then last month, 42-year-old Angela Issa was found unresponsive in her jail cell. The cause of her death is still not determined.

"The population that we deal with is a very high risk population. We have inmates that come here that have never seen physicians that have no health screenings. Why we have a medical department now is because of situations like this," Swanson said.

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