Sheriff Releases Identity in Apparent Suicide at County Main Jail

Santa Barbara Sheriff (Edhat)

UPDATE to In-Custody Death at Main Jail

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office is providing further details regarding the apparent suicide death at the Mail Jail on Saturday, October 21, 2023.

The deceased inmate has been identified as 64-year-old Paul Howard Gillett of Santa Barbara. Gillett was booked at the Main Jail by the Santa Barbara Police Department on September 29, 2023, for assault with a deadly weapon (felony), and battery (misdemeanor).

Gillett was also being held on a court remand for a violation of probation for driving under the influence with a total bail of $45,000.

This death appears to be a suicide; however, the final cause and manner of death is pending toxicology results.

On Saturday, October 21, 2023, at approximately 6:20 a.m., custody staff at the Main Jail were conducting checks of inmates in the Northwest module when they found a male inmate unresponsive in his bunk.

Custody staff entered the single-occupant cell and found a piece of linen fashioned as a ligature around the inmate’s neck. Custody deputies and WellPath medical staff began life-saving measures including administering Narcan and performing CPR.

County Fire and American Medical Response (AMR) were summoned and responded to the jail facility. Paramedics continued life-saving measures, but the inmate did not recover and was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. without being transported.

Although this appears to be an apparent suicide, the Sheriff’s Office is conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Investigators from Criminal Investigations, Corners Bureau, and Administrative Investigations responded to conduct multiple investigations.

The Coroner’s Office will conduct further investigation to determine the cause and manner of this death.

The identity of the decedent will be released once notification to his next-of-kin has been completed.


Written by sbsheriff

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

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