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Inmate used bedding to hang himself at SLO County Jail, sheriff says

Michael Wayne Nonella, 47, of Arroyo Grande, who was an inmate at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, died of an apparent suicide Saturday after using his bedding to hang himself, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Michael Wayne Nonella, 47, of Arroyo Grande, who was an inmate at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, died of an apparent suicide Saturday after using his bedding to hang himself, the Sheriff’s Office said. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

An inmate at San Luis Obispo County Jail died of an apparent suicide Saturday after using his bedding to hang himself, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Wayne Nonella, 47, of Arroyo Grande was found hanging and unresponsive in his private cell during a scheduled check of inmates at 11:44 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Deputies immediately began life-saving measures, including CPR, and emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene at 11:46 a.m., a Cal Fire spokesman said.

Deputies last observed Nonella at approximately 11:20 a.m. while bringing him lunch, the release said. He was found dead in his cell less than 25 minutes later.

Officials said all inmate checks were completed on schedule.

“This appears to be the third attempted suicide in the County Jail in the past month,” the release said.

Two people also attempted suicide on Aug. 18, but deputies were able to intercede.

This is the 13th death to occur inside County Jail since 2012; the last inmate to die in custody was Hanford man Russell Alan Hammer, 62, who died on Nov. 27, 2017, of pulmonary thrombo-embolism and deep vein thrombosis, according to the Coronor’s Office.

Following the death of Atascadero resident Andrew Holland in January 2017 after he was held for 46 hours in a restraint chair, the FBI launched a civil rights investigation into the jail.

Nonella had been in custody since July 25 for charges of violation of post release supervision. He had a projected release date of Oct. 6, 2018.

The SLO County District Attorney’s Office and detectives from the Sheriff’s Office are investigating the circumstances of Nonella’s death.

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