TECUMSEH – A 22-year-old Tecumseh inmate that reportedly had methamphetamine in his system before he died Tuesday is among six deaths now awaiting grand juries in Johnson County.
Those deaths include three suspected homicides and a suicide.
A Nebraska Department of Corrections press release says Daelan Lamere was found unresponsive in his cell on May 27 and died 10 days later at Bryan West in Lincoln.
If a person dies in Johnson County while in state custody, the county attorney’s office is required to establish a three-person investigative team. When that team completes its investigation, a grand jury is called to hear the state’s evidence to determine the cause of death and if a crime has been committed.
Since the prison opened near Tecumseh in 2004, the county has called 34 grand juries.
Grand juries are expected to be called for Damon Fitzgerald and Michael Galindo, who were murdered during a March 2 uprising at the prison. No criminal charges have been filed.
Floyd Derry, died in January at the age of 78. A correction department press release says he had been treated for long-term medical issues and his death is believed to be of natural causes.
Aslin Nabarro, 44, who was serving 30 to 40 years for attempted murder, is suspected of suicide in May.
In 2016, Johnson County grand juries found a crime involved in the deaths of Donald Peacock and Shon Collins. They ruled the deaths as homicides caused by blunt force trauma to the head. No charges have been filed regarding those deaths, which are linked to the Mother’s Day riot of 2015.
Johnson County Attorney Rick Smith said he convened grand juries in the deaths of Peacock and Collins even though criminal charges have not been filed, because state law at that time required secrecy that would keep evidence away from potential jurors at a criminal trial.
Since then, he said, state law has changed making grand jury evidence available to the public. Because of the new law, he said, he does not intend to pursue grand juries until there is a resolution to cases where criminal charges are likely.
Noel J.Heathman, no true bill
Russell Gene Summerville, no true bill
Robert Nelson, treated for medical condition
Michael Ryan, treated for medical condition
Marvin Anderson, no true bill
Patrick Howley. 42-year-old found unresponsive in cell. Suicide suspected.
Theodore Stutheit, no true bill
Keith Lohman, no true bill
Enrique Rodriquez, no true bill
Robert Dean Arnt, no true bill
Barbaro Viltres Sanchez, no true bill
Edward Corey, treated for medical condition
Daniel Carl Eona, 39-year-old found unresponsive in cell. Jury issues no indictment.
Smith said the county prefers to call grand juries when there are multiple cases to consider as a cost-saving measure.
He said he has not yet formed the three-person investigative team to look into the death of Lamere.