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7:44 PM Tue, Dec. 11th

Mother thanks jail officers for saving suicidal son

A Mohave County corrections officer checks on inmates in dorms at the Mohave County jail in Kingman in the 2013 file photo.

Daily Miner file photo

A Mohave County corrections officer checks on inmates in dorms at the Mohave County jail in Kingman in the 2013 file photo.

KINGMAN – The mother of a Mohave County Jail inmate who attempted suicide Sunday and remains hospitalized in Las Vegas said she would be cremating her son today if not for a couple of fast-acting detention officers.

The woman’s son was found hanging in his cell Sunday by jail officers Riley Eaglin and Fernando Alvarado, Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster said.

They immediately started CPR and brought a noticeable pulse to the inmate, who was legally dead, the sheriff said. He was transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center and then to Las Vegas.

“I want to thank those officers because he died there in that jail,” Jenna Haney told the Daily Miner Wednesday between trips to Las Vegas to visit her son. “He’s alive, he’s pretty confused. He’s kind of childlike.”

Quinn, who’s lived in Mohave County since 1974, said she’s heard negative comments about the jail, but feels good about it now.

“I posted on Facebook and people said, ‘You need to sue them,’ but you know, I’m thankful. If that officer hadn’t acted quickly, I’d be cremating him right now.”

Haney’s son was in jail for failure to appear on a drug charge with a $2,500 bond, Schuster said.

It wasn’t his first suicide attempt. Haney said her son has been suicidal for years, trying to hang himself in a Phoenix home for juveniles and again in California. He was self-medicating and addicted to methamphetamine, she added.

He had been to counseling with the Mohave County Jail psychologist and was cleared after several sessions of saying he no longer wanted to kill himself, Schuster said.

“The health and well-being of our inmate population is very important to us,” he said. “When they come in, we ask about their mental health and well-being and put out a notice to inmates to ask for help.”

Schuster said jail staff can’t watch everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for possible suicide attempts. Two inmates committed suicide in the jail last year. The sheriff handed out an award earlier this year to another detention officer who responded to an attempted suicide.

“Free will is still free will,” Schuster said. “If someone wants to do that, it’s really beyond our control. This is something we never want to see, but a lot of it is self-propagated.”