Inmate who died at jail was facing life sentence

Carl McDaniel

A Mesa County Jail inmate who died Thursday after jumping from the second floor balcony of the jail had been convicted of sexual assault on a child last month and was awaiting a sentence that would have kept him in prison for the rest of his life.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office on Friday identified the inmate as 50-year-old Carl Howard McDaniel.

McDaniel struck his head on the floor after jumping from the balcony Thursday afternoon. He was declared dead at the scene.

A jury on March 10 convicted him on seven counts of sex assault on a child, eight counts of sexual assault on a child in a position of trust and five other sexual assault-related charges. Because he had previously been convicted of habitual criminal charges, he faced a possible sentence of two consecutive life sentences plus 288 years.

The crimes involved four children. Two of the victims were connected to incidents that resulted in prosecutors filing charges in 2013. The other two victims were associated with a 2000 case that prosecutors initially dropped.

But the previous charges were able to be merged with the current case, and brought back before the court in this case, because of continued investigation.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office will complete its investigation before releasing the cause and manner of McDaniel’s death.


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