JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says a 50-year-old inmate was found unresponsive in his cell sometime before a 5:15 a.m. check on Friday. Officials say they began life-saving procedures on Paul Abeyta for about 45 minutes.

Paul Abeyta (credit: Jefferson County)

Abeyta was undergoing a drug withdrawal period in a medical unit. He reported having COVID-19 symptoms. He reportedly told Lakewood police he was using heroin every day for the last five years when they arrested him on April 27.

Abeyta also reportedly told officers he had a fever, cough and shortness of breath which began that day.

Medical personnel took his temperature which did not reveal a fever. Officials then isolated him from other inmates.

Police arrested Abeyta for more than 10 felony and misdemeanor charges.

A cause of death will be determined by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.


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