DA Releases Report on January Jail Death
By the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced [Friday] that the legal analysis of the death of Jonathan Paul Thomas, age 45, occurring on January 12, 2022, while in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail has concluded.
The detailed analysis is posted on the Office of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney website here: https://da.countyofsb.org/documents/JonathanPaulThomasICDfinal.pdf
A preview is provided below:
PUBLIC REPORT ON THE DEATH OF JONATHAN PAUL THOMAS IN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY JAIL ON JANUARY 12, 2022
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the investigation, conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (“SBSO”), of the death of Jonathan Paul Thomas, age 45, occurring on January 12, 2022, while in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail.
The following analysis is based upon investigative, autopsy, and coroner’s reports; video and audio recordings; photographs; and witness interviews collected during the investigation conducted by the SBSO and submitted to this office by SBSO Detective Adam Alegria.
Autopsy results revealed Thomas’s cause of death was the combined effects of morbid obesity, dilated cardiomyopathy, acute methamphetamine intoxication, active resistance, and restraint. His manner of death was determined to be accidental. After review of the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office concludes the physical force used by custody deputies to restrain him prior to Thomas’s accidental death was reasonable and lawful, and they bear no state criminal liability.
Read the full report here.