Ellsworth jail inmate found dead

Posted Jan. 01, 2010, at 9:03 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The Brooklin man who attempted to escape from custody earlier this week was found dead Friday morning in the shower area of his cell at the Hancock County Jail.

According to a printed statement from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, correction officers found Timothy Sawyer, 42, at about 9:30 a.m. hanging from some shower fixtures in his jail shower room. The officers administered resuscitation procedures and called County Ambulance, which took Sawyer to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:21 a.m.

Sawyer had run from the courtroom at Hancock County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon. He had been arrested earlier last month on probation violation charges and was in court for his initial arraignment. After leaving the courtroom, he attempted to get away by stealing a car that was parked in downtown Ellsworth, but the 18-year-old woman in the passenger side of the vehicle fought with him as he drove away and forced him out of the car on Route 172.

Sawyer was arraigned for a second time Thursday and charged with escape, kidnapping, terrorizing, robbery and theft. He was returned to the Hancock County Jail.

At the request of jail staff, mental health authorities assessed Sawyer’s emotional well-being Thursday afternoon and cleared him for placement within the jail population, according to the statement from the Sheriff’s Department. Due to his risk of flight, it said, Sawyer was being held in the maximum security portion of the jail.

Following jail protocol, the Maine Attorney General’s Office, the State Medical Examiner’s Office, Maine Department of Corrections and the Maine State Police Criminal Investigation Division were notified of the incident. At the request of the medical examiner, Sawyer’s body was taken from a local funeral home to Augusta for an autopsy.

Hancock County Sheriff William Clark, who had been conferring with Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross regarding a review of Sawyer’s escape from Superior Court on Wednesday, will conduct an internal affairs investigation of the death, using Ross’ staff as consultants.

Clark indicated that the review and investigation would be completed within the next two weeks.

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