Ya-Ta-Hey man dies in jail

Officials for the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death of a Yah-Ta-Hey man who apparently committed suicide Friday night in a cell at the McKinley County Adult Detention Center.

According to a police report, Thomas Yazzie-Joe hung himself by a telephone cord after being put into an admissions cell at the jail.

The report said Yazzie-Joe had been brought in by an officer for the New Mexico State Police about 5 p.m. for booking on aggravated battery and assult charges but because of his aggressive behavior was put into Admissions Cell 154 by himself.

A corrections official found him two-and-a-half hours later. Medstar technicians were called and said they could find no pulse.

County officials said all jail procedures had been followed and Yazzie-Joe showed no signs of being suicidal when he was brought in. County officials are looking at replacing the phone in that cell with one that is wireless and does not have a cord.


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