Inmate, found hanging, is near death

Story by Erin McIntyre and Gabrielle Porter

An inmate who attempted suicide at the Mesa County Jail over the weekend was on life support at St. Mary’s Medical Center on Wednesday, and family members said they were waiting for his organs to be harvested for donation.

Jesse Deloy Binam, 37, was transported to the hospital on Saturday after he sustained injuries while he was incarcerated at the jail, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Megan Terlecky confirmed.

Though Terlecky declined to say what injuries Binam sustained at the jail, she said he was found unresponsive during a routine security check by jail staff. His father, Ken Binam of Fruita, confirmed he was found hanging. Jail staff immediately tried to help him and he was taken to the hospital, Terlecky said,

Binam was listed in critical condition and remained in the intensive care unit Wednesday, St. Mary’s spokeswoman Teri Cavanaugh said. His father confirmed that he was being kept on life support in order to harvest his organs late Wednesday.

Binam had been at the jail since Sept. 2, when he was arrested for an alleged probation violation and failing to appear in court, according to jail records.

Just days before, Binam had taken a step toward resolving his criminal issues. Originally charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor assault, Binam pleaded guilty to a single count of trespass on Sept. 6 and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, according to the Mesa County Court Clerk’s office.

He remained in jail on a $1,500 cash-only bond in connection with a domestic violence case. Binam had pleaded guilty to a count of misdemeanor assault in that case and had a hearing scheduled for Sept. 22, according to the office.

Terlecky declined to say whether Binam had been on suicide watch or if there were concerns about his well-being, as well as whether he was in a cell alone or with others when the incident happened.

She also said the Sheriff’s Office has protocols for dealing with individuals who may be at risk of harming themselves, but declined to say whether these were in place for Binam.

Terlecky said the agency stopped receiving medical information about Binam after he left their custody and didn’t know his condition.

“He was alive when he left the jail and was taken to the hospital,” she said. “Beyond that, we don’t know.”

Authorities acted quickly to bond Binam out of jail while he was unconscious.

On Monday, when it appeared Binam might not survive, Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle filed a written request that Judge Art Smith modify Binam’s bond to a personal-recognizance bond, noting that sheriff’s deputies were still providing round-the-clock security after he was transported to the hospital for a “major medical event.”

“The MCSO is providing this security solely because he has not posted the bond (in two cases),” Tuttle wrote. “There is, however, no other need for the security, and it is prohibitively expensive to continue to provide security.”

Smith granted the request the same day, according to the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office.

Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein wrote in an email that his office is “constantly assessing any criminal defendant’s risk to the community,” and the need to keep defendants in jail.

“Oftentimes these situations are less clear-cut,” Rubinstein wrote. “Here, a review of the defendant’s changed medical condition made it clear that it was unnecessary to have him remain in custody.”


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