According to Sheriff Kevin Walsh, two jail deputies have been disciplined as a result of an investigation into an inmate suicide at Onondaga County Justice Center in 2008. The first deputy was suspended and the second was counseled and retrained. Inmate, Michael Tew, 19, had been charged with second-degree arson and violating terms of probation from a 2006 incident. On November 2, 2008 at 7 a.m. Tew was found dead in his cell after hanging himself. It was concluded that he had been dead for three to four hours by the time his body was discovered, even though the first deputy performed checks every half-hour and the second deputy toured the cells at 4:15 a.m. The suspended officer failed to perform the Justice Center’s required population count at 6:30 that morning. It is impossible to know whether Tew’s death could have been prevented even if rounds had been made promptly because he would have enough time between them to kill himself. As a result the first deputy was suspended for 30 days without pay then assigned to the Temporary Assignment Unit. Sheriff Walsh is waiting on a Civil Service hearing where he is looking to have the deputy terminated. Unfortunately no comments made by Tew threatening to take his life were reported to authorities.
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