Last updated: July 22. 2013 12:30PM - 121 Views
By - flewis@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101

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A man placed in the Lawrence County Jail as somewhat of a last resort, has died while incarcerated.

Dead is Timothy M. Conwell, 38, of 61 Township Rd. 84 W, Willow Wood, Ohio.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless said his office received a call about 9:30 p.m. Friday from the Comfort Inn and Suites on U.S. 52 and County Road 1, South Point, where a clerk said there was a man passed out on the lobby couch, and he was not a guest at the hotel.

The deputy who responded said Conwell had slurred speech, was staggering, and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Conwell had no identification, but the deputy recognized him from previous dealings. The deputy reported that Conwell said he was attempting to find a place to stay for the weekend and that he had been sentenced to an eight-year prison term for trafficking in drugs, and was to turn himself in at the Sheriffs Office on Monday. The hotel would not allow him to rent a room because he did not have proper identification.

Lawless said the deputy did not feel he could leave Conwell to care for himself because of his condition. He walked Conwell to his patrol car in the parking lot and allowed him to eat a chicken dinner Conwell had purchased just prior to his arrival at the hotel. During that time, the deputy obtained phone numbers of family members and friends in an attempt to find him a place to stay for the night. Lawless said Conwells brother was contacted, but refused to allow him to stay. Three friends were contacted and no one would allow him to stay with them, even after the deputy volunteered to drive him to their homes. The deputy contacted two other hotels in the area, but they would not accept him either without proper identification.

Lawless said the deputy placed Conwell under arrested for disorderly by intoxication and transported him to the Lawrence County Jail. Lawless said, at no point while with the deputy, did Conwell lose consciousness. Deputies said Conwell was cooperative during booking procedures. During that time the corrections staff found a prescription bottle of Oxycontin and Xanax. Conwell would not say how many pills he had taken, if any.

Conwell was placed in the holding tank with other inmates. Regular checks were made by the corrections staff, and it was noted he had been snoring about one hour before he was found to have died.

About 4:40 a.m., the corrections office staff attempted to wake Conwell so he could check his blood sugar prior to breakfast being served at 5 a.m.. That is when staff found him unresponsive, and immediately contacted the Lawrence County Emergency Medical Services, who arrived within minutes but were unable to revive him.

The Detective Bureau and the Lawrence County Coroners Office are investigating this situation. Lawless said there is no indication of foul play.

FRANK LEWIS may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or flewis@heartlandpublications.com.
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