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6:56 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Inmate showed no signs of suicide

A Colorado man, who attempted suicide last weekend in his Mohave County jail hospital cell and died Wednesday, had showed no signs in recent months of wanting to take his own life despite a previous jailhouse suicide attempt just three months ago.

James Anthony Mymern had been held in the shooting of his estranged wife in the parking lot of a Kingman grocery store July 17.

In October, Mymern first attempted suicide by jumping off the second tier railing of the main cellblock, shattering his leg.


Bruce Brown, commander of the jail, said Mymern had showed no signs of harming himself or anyone else since that first suicide attempt.

"He was always in a jovial mood," Brown said.

"He never displayed any belligerence or any attitude.

He was very cordial.

He showed no suicidal tendencies since October."

Brown said Mymern probably would not have returned to the general population of the jail, remaining instead in the medical wing until his trial.

After Mymern, 56, first attempted suicide in October, he, like any inmate attempting suicide, was put in a single cell under close supervision for the first 72 hours after his return to the jail facility.

Inmates deemed suicidal are given paper gowns and blankets, and their movements are watched every 10 to 15 minutes.

They are fed with plastic spoons, which are confiscated after the meal, Brown said.

A doctor will then determine an inmate's circumstances and attitudes.

The next stage is special watch, then a medical watch, each with lesser restrictions.

Mymern was taken off medical watch in late December, Brown said.

A suicidal inmate also is counseled by a psychologist or religious leader, Brown said.

When inmates are first put into the jail, a doctor will ask them whether they have suicidal tendencies.

Mymern had stated that he did not, Brown said.

The night Mymern attempted suicide, he was in a cell with one other inmate in the medical wing of the jail, where medical staff is always within 10 feet, 24 hours a day.

The medical wing houses solitary cells and cells that can hold two to four inmates.

A jail officer made a head count at 2 a.m.

Saturday and woke Mymern, according to Brown.

When Mymern indicated to the officer that he was OK, the officer went on with his rounds.

Mymern's cellmate woke about 40 minutes later, possibly to use the restroom, when he saw Mymern with gauze tied around his neck.

The other end of the gauze was tied tightly to the top section of the upper bunk.

The inmate yelled for guards who within seconds cut the gauze from around Mymern's neck and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him.

Jail officers believe Mymern had swung his legs onto the floor while keeping his torso in the lower bunk bed, trying to put weight on the bandage, according to Brown.

Mymern was taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center where he was in critical condition until his death Wednesday afternoon.

His death is still under investigation, Brown said.

Mymern's wife, Patsy Mymern, suffered numerous gunshot wounds in the July shooting and was released from a Las Vegas hospital two weeks later.