An autopsy report identifies the cause of death for the man that died in the Jefferson County jail last month as combined drug intoxication with hypertensive cardiovascular disease listed as a …
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An autopsy report identifies the cause of death for the man that died in the Jefferson County jail last month as combined drug intoxication with hypertensive cardiovascular disease listed as a significant contributing factor.
Deputies found 50-year-old inmate Paul George Abeyta unresponsive on May 1 and later pronounced him dead. Abeyta, who was arrested on April 27, had told law enforcement he had been suffering from fever, cough and shortness of breath, which are symptoms of COVID-19, that had began earlier that day. He also indicated he had been a daily heroin user for the past five years.
The report states Abeyta's blood contained heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and amphetamine. Abeyta's brain and heart also exhibited swelling consistent with a drug intoxication The manner of Abeyta's death is listed as an accident.
A postmortem COVID-19 antibody blood test found Abeyta was negative for COVID-19 antibodies. The sheriff's department had initially said his death was potentially caused by the viral disease.
According to the autopsy report, drug paraphernalia was found in the isolation cell where Abeyta was found unresponsive. Abeyta was being observed at the jail because of his flu-like symptoms as well as for opiate withdrawal.
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