Inmate dies in Conejos County Jail


CONEJOS — Investigation is continuing into the death of an inmate in the Conejos County Jail early Saturday.

An official sheriff’s report states that inmates in the jail notified detention staff at approximately 6 a.m. that another inmate was “not doing well.”

Detention staff immediately went to check on inmate Andy Martinez, 36, and found him on his bunk and unresponsive. An ambulance was dispatched and detention staff started CPR. Martinez was transported to the Conejos County hospital, where further efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.

The La Jara Police Department charged him with assault causing serious bodily injury and violent crime causing death — serious bodily injury on Sept. 30, 2016. Both charges were dismissed on Feb. 17, 2017, leaving one count of third-degree assault, knowingly and recklessly causing injury. He entered a guilty plea June 19 of this year to that charge, a Class 2 Misdemeanor. A jury trial scheduled for July 6 and 7 was vacated, he was sentenced and awaiting a bed in the state Department of Corrections at the time of his death.

The cause of death has not been determined; however, Alison Mondragon, county jail administrative assistant, said the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was contacted and asked to assist the Sheriff's Office with a full investigation to determine the cause of death.

Conejos County Sheriff Howard Galvez Jr. said there is no way to determine the cause of death and an autopsy has been scheduled and just what happened is pending completion of investigation by his staff and the CBI.

CBI Public Information Officer Susan Medina confirmed the agency was called Saturday morning to help investigate an in-custody death.

7/22/17 Correction:

The initial charges against Conejos County Jail inmate Andy Martinez, 36, who was found dead in the jail on July 8, were not related to a homicide but dated to a September 30, 2016 assault. The initial charges against Martinez included assault and violent crime causing serious bodily injury, NOT death. The more serious charges were dismissed in February, and Martinez had pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, at the time of his death. His death is still under investigation.