Inmate who tried to hang himself at Payette County Jail dies

This photo from February of 2019 shows a portion of the Payette County Jail, where multiple cots are in a common area. The inmate who attempted to hang himself at the jail on April 20 was not in a space like this, instead he was in his own cell.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that misinformation was given to the Payette County Sheriff's Office: The man is still alive, but is being treated in a private medical facility, not under the care of the sheriff's office.

UPDATE – 2:50 P.M. APRIL 28:

PAYETTE — The Payette County Sheriff's Office says information that came in from "two separate credible sources" about an inmate having died, was in fact false.

After sending out a news release early this morning stating that Saul Martinez, 27, of Ontario, had succumbed to injuries related to an attempt to hang himself at the Payette County Jail, officials learned that was not, in fact, the case.

Martinez was taken to a private medical facility to be treated for his injuries on April 20; as he was not in police custody at the hospital, HIPPA laws prevented the hospital from providing updates to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Upon further investigation by the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, they have learned that Mr. Martinez has not passed away and is still receiving medical care at a hospital in the Treasure Valley,” reads an updated release. “We apologize to the family and public for the incorrect information that was released earlier today.”



Inmate who tried to hang himself at Payette County Jail dies

APRIL 28, 2020 PAYETTE — An Ontario man who allegedly tried to take his own life while in a local jail died from those injuries four days later, according to a news release sent this morning from the Payette County Sheriff’s Office.

Saul Martinez, 27, was booked into the Payette County Jail at 3 p.m. April 20 and was discovered barely more than 3 hours later having tried to hang himself.

Payette County Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Creech says at 6:08 p.m., while conducting regular rounds through the jail facility to check on inmates, a deputy discovered Martinez.

The Ontario man was put in his cell at 5 p.m., and did not show signs of distress while being checked into the facility, according to Creech.

“When inmates arrive at our facility, our deputies ask them a series of questions to assess the risk for self harm as well as other things,” Creech wrote in an email. “Martinez gave no indication that he was in any mental stress or contemplating suicide.”

Deputies performed lifesaving measures, and Martinez was taken to a hospital, where he eventually died on Friday, states the release.

Officials say Martinez was being held without bond and facing charges related to violating a no contact order and resisting and obstructing officers, both misdemeanor charges.

Martinez was arrested by the Fruitland Police Department on those charges, according to Creech.

For each charge, the maximum sentence carries a $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail.

An investigation and policy review are underway, due to the incident.

“The jail administration is conducting an investigation into the incident and a review of all related policies and procedures as a result of this incident,” wrote Creech.

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