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Woman who died in custody at Butte detention center identified

BUTTE – Butte Coroner Lee LaBreche identified the woman found deceased in the Butte Silver Bow Detention Center Saturday as 30-year-old Samantha Cagle of California.

Cagle was arrested on a drug charge Friday Oct. 12th and the next day was found unresponsive in a holding cell.

“They do checks on the cell block that she was in on a consistent basis every 20 minutes of so, they did find her, they thought she was sleeping, they did go in and check on her, they discovered she wasn’t breathing, they did CPR and life-saving measures and called 911 and got the medical team rolling,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.

The undersheriff said the detention center staff follow a strict policy of routinely checking on all the inmates in the jail.

“If you come in on a watch they will check on you more often, if you come in as a normal booking you’ll stay in the booking area until you’re medically cleared to go into the main cell block, once you’re in the main cell block it’s every half hour. When you’re down stairs it’s every 15 to 20 minutes,” said Skuletich.

The Butte jail was originally designed to hold about 75 inmates comfortably, but in recent years this jail averages more than 90 inmates per day and that does tax the staff and the resources.

“Warehousing, you know, 90 inmates a day our detention staff does a wonderful job checking in on the inmates. They do a great job,” the undersheriff said.

The state will be handling the investigation into the inmate’s death and the sheriff’s department will investigate if jail staff followed procedure.

The coroner said Cagle’s death appears to be drug-related, but investigators are waiting on the toxicology report.

John Emeigh

John Emeigh

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