Coroner's Inquest Slated for Inmate Who Attempted Suicide in Jail

The 21-year-old man died a day after he attempted suicide by asphyxiation in the intake area of the jail.

Martinez jail.
Martinez jail.
By Bay City News Service

A coroner's inquest will be held for an in-custody death in the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez earlier this year, the sheriff's office announced Thursday.

According to sheriff's officials, 21-year-old Pleasanton man Joseph Behiel died a day after he attempted suicide by asphyxiation in the intake area of the jail on March 21.

Jail medical personnel attempted life-saving measures before emergency responders arrived to take Behiel to the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, where he died on March 22, according to sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.

Behiel had been booked into the jail on suspicion of weapons crimes, resisting arrest and a probation violation about 15 hours before his suicide attempt, according to the sheriff's office.

Although autopsy results indicate that the 21-year-old died due to asphyxiation and his death was ruled a suicide, a coroner's inquest in required in cases officer-involved fatalities, sheriff's officials said.

The inquest is set for 9 a.m. on Oct. 10 at the A.F. Bray Courts Building in Martinez.

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