Sheriff's Office Reports Inmate Dies in Custody
Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 2:03 a.m., 45-year-old Jonathan Paul Thomas died at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail. Thomas was arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at approximately 9:32 p.m. for domestic violence (misdemeanor) and false imprisonment (felony). Thomas was transported by Santa Maria Police to the Main Jail where he was booked at approximately 1:32 a.m. on January 12, 2022. Thomas was being held on $10,000 bail.
Prior to, and during the booking process, Thomas made statements about suicide, was deemed a danger to himself, and was escorted to a single-occupant safety cell. What is clear so far in the investigation is that once inside the safety cell, custody deputies removed Thomas’ clothing, he was placed face down onto the floor of the cell, his handcuffs were removed, and custody deputies exited the cell. Minutes later, custody deputies noticed that Thomas was not moving. Custody deputies then began lifesaving measures, including CPR, and requested an emergency medical response. Wellpath medical, County Fire and American Medical Response all responded, but sadly, lifesaving measures were unsuccessful, and Thomas was declared dead.
Thomas’ next-of-kin have been notified. The cause of death is unknown at this time, and the investigation remains ongoing. An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday, January 13, 2022.