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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: July 31, 2020

Inmate Death (Update)

Updated Media Release August 10, 2020

Flagstaff, AZ – Next of kin notification has been confirmed by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.  The inmate, who died on 7/31/2020, is David Depue, 32YOA.  We are not aware of his last known address.

Mr. Depue was arrested by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) and was being held in-custody on a $50,000 bond for 4-Counts of Felony Theft, Felony Criminal Trespass, Felony Burglary, Misdemeanor Driving with Suspended License and Misdemeanor Fictitious Plate.

The autopsy and cause of death results are still pending by the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Initially it was reported that Mr. Depue had refused to answer any medical related questions asked by our Officers while at the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Temporary Holding Facility in Page, Az. Upon review and further clarification Mr. Depue did answer questions related to COVID-19 contact and the Officer Initiated Medical Pre-Screening form.  Mr. Depue did not disclose any medical or health related issues.  When our Officers noticed the cut on his finger, Mr. Depue stated he was aware of the cut, did not want any treatment for it, believed it to be infected and stated he treats his own wounds.  As stated in the prior media release, our medical staff refused the acceptance of Mr. Depue into the holding facility until he was medically cleared for the cut on his finger by a medical facility.  It has been confirmed that Mr. Depue did refuse to be treated while at the Page Hospital and when ultimately accepted into the holding facility, Mr. Depue continued to refuse to allow Officers to check vital signs or answer questions when our Officers attempted to get further health history.  On 7/30/2020, Mr. Depue advised our Officers that he was not feeling well during two different times while they had contact with him.  When our Officers asked him, what was wrong and tried to check his vitals he refused to answer and refused the vital check and said he was fine. 

On 7/31/2020, while on the transport from Page to the Flagstaff Detention Facility, our transport Officer’s noticed that Mr. Depue may have been experiencing anxiety or panic like behavior and advised Mr. Depue to take deep breaths and try to relax.  Shortly after that, Mr. Depue was not visible by the Officers so they pulled over and notified dispatch and asked for medics to respond.  When one of the Officers went around to open the door to where Mr. Depue was sitting, the Officer said it appeared that Mr. Depue was having a seizure.  While the Officer was trying to assess Mr. Depue and communicate with him, Mr. Depue went unresponsive and appeared to no longer be breathing.  While the Officer was attempting to find a pulse, medics arrived on scene and the Officer advised that Mr. Depue was not breathing.  Medics took Mr. Depue out of the van and began life saving measures to include CPR.  Mr. Depue was then transported to the Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) by medics.

Initially stated in the prior media release our Officer at FMC advised that Mr. Depue had undergone surgery.  Upon further clarification by our Officer and FMC medical staff, Mr. Depue did not have surgery. When medics arrived at FMC, Mr. Depue was moved immediately into a room where medical staff continued life saving measures for approximately one hour.  Due to FMC COVID-19 protocols non-essential individuals and Officers are not allowed to be in the room with the patient.  Instead, our Officer had to stand outside of the room but could keep a visual of Mr. Depue through the clear curtain in the room.  From what the Officer could see, it appeared that Mr. Depue was undergoing surgery, so he relayed that back to staff at the Flagstaff Detention Facility.  At Approximately 1:35 pm. FMC medical staff did advise our Officer that Mr. Depue did appear to be stabilized and would be moved to the Intensive Care Unit.  It is confirmed that at 2:11 pm, Mr. Depue was pronounced deceased by FMC medical staff.  The death is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

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Original Media Release July 31, 2020

Flagstaff, AZ - On Friday July 31, 2020, at approximately 2:11 pm, an inmate from the Coconino County Detention Facility died while at Flagstaff Medical Center. 

On July 29, 2020 a local law enforcement agency was initiating the booking process into the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Temporary Holding Facility in Page, AZ.  During the booking process, the arrestee refused to answer any medical related questions asked by our Detention Officers.  Our Officers noticed a laceration on the arrestee’s finger that appeared red, swollen, and hot to the touch.  Our Officers contacted the Detention medical staff in Flagstaff, relayed the information, and the arrestee was refused acceptance.  The arresting agency transported the arrestee to the Page Emergency Department.  The arrestee refused all medical treatment while at the hospital.  Ultimately the arrestee was transported back to the holding facility.  Again, the arrestee refused to answer all medical questions and refused to allow vitals to be checked by our officers.  Detention staff contacted the Detention Medical staff in Flagstaff, explained the arrestee’s refusal for treatment at the hospital and the refusal to answer medical questions and vitals to be checked.  Because we had documentation that the arrestee had refused medical treatment and refused to answer our medical questions, our medical staff advised our officers to accept the arrestee. The arrestee was processed and booked into the Page holding facility. 

On Friday morning, July 31, 2020, the inmate was on a transport from Page to be housed in the Flagstaff Facility pending further adjudication.  While on transport the inmate began to have a medical related emergency.  Our Detention Officers pulled over, contacted dispatch, requested emergency services and began life savings measures.  Emergency Medical Services responded, took over life saving measures and transported the inmate to the Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC).  The inmate was taken into emergency surgery and came out of surgery at approximately 1:00 pm.  At 2:11 pm our officers guarding the inmate at FMC notified Sheriff’s Command staff that the inmate was deceased.

The cause of death is currently under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and pending autopsy and review by the Coconino County Medical Examiner.  The name of the inmate and any further information is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

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