Big Sky Roundup

Sheriff: East Helena man dies by suicide in Lewis and Clark County Jail

By: - September 20, 2021 12:53 pm

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A 25-year-old East Helena man died by suicide in the Lewis and Clark County Jail on Saturday, according to a news release from the county sheriff.
According to the release, a detention center officer found Benjamin “Jammer” Halverson unresponsive in his cell at 11:09 a.m. Saturday.
“Lifesaving measures were initiated but were unsuccessful, and the inmate was later pronounced deceased at the scene,” the release said.
An autopsy performed by the State of Montana Pathologist in the Missoula Crime Lab determined the cause of death to be “asphyxia due to hanging.”
The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and an independent coroner are conducting an investigation into the death, according to the release.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton could not comment on the particulars of the incident, citing the ongoing investigation, but said there were at least eight officers at the facility when Halverson died and the MTDOJ is working to determine how much time elapsed between check-ins.
Dutton said in the last 12 years, there have been five suicide attempts at the jail, but each time staff has been able to intervene.

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Keith Schubert
Keith Schubert

Keith Schubert is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. Keith was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019. He has worked at the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and most recently, the Asbury Park Press, covering everything from local craft fairs to crime and courts to municipal government to the Minnesota state legislature. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on Wisconsin sports teams and exploring small businesses. He can be reached by text or call at 406-475-2954 .