Second County Jail Inmate Dies in One Week

Update by the edhat staff

The Sheriff’s Office has provided the inmate’s name and additional regarding his death.

Notification to the decedent’s next-of-kin has been completed and he is identified as 57-year-old David Lee Ligon from Santa Maria. He was booked on May 27, 2023, by the Sheriff’s Office for possession of narcotics for sale (felony), transportation of a controlled substance (felony), possession of narcotics (misdemeanor), and possession of paraphernalia (misdemeanor). He was being held on $30,000 bail.

The Sheriff’s Office states an initial investigation indicates this is a probable overdose related death, however final cause and manner of death are pending.

By the edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office reports a second inmate death within a week.

On Monday, May 29, 2023, at approximately 2:19 p.m., a Sheriff’s Custody Deputy and WellPath medical staff member were conducting medical procedures within B-Unit of the Northern Branch Jail, reports the Sheriff’s Office.

“While checking on inmates housed in B-Unit, they found a male inmate who did not respond to the check-in procedure. Custody deputies and WellPath medical staff entered the cell to physically check the inmate’s condition and found him unresponsive and not breathing,” the press release states.

Custody Deputies and WellPath medical staff began life-saving measures including administering two rounds of Narcan, performing CPR, and placement of an automated external defibrillator (AED). 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 2:46 p.m. without being transported.

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

“Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Coroner’s Office are conducting an extensive investigation into the inmate’s death. The Sheriff’s Office will share additional information as it becomes available for release,” the press release states.

This follows another inmate death reported on May 25 at the Sheriff’s Main Jail where a deputy and WellPath nurse found an unresponsive inmate with foam coming out of his mouth. Three rounds of Narcan and additional life saving measures were performed but did not revive the inmate.

The Sheriff’s Office stated they believe this death was due to an overdose while details were not released on the cause of the May 29th death.

Related Articles

 May 27, 2023: Jail Inmate Dies from Suspected Overdose


Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. @01:47 – There is nothing wrong with me, really. Do you have an answer to my (legitimate) question? Why should I have any shame for asking this question? And, the illegal drug user, the human, that very likely knows they are using a substance that could kill them, not so much.

    • 08:06 – I’m not sure how civilian oversight can help. I’m guessing the sheriff is doing as much as possible to solve this problem and is likely in contact with other agencies to learn how they address smuggling. If this is accurate, and the problem continues, it’s time to look at the “elephant in the room,” employee’s.

  2. 08:52 – I’ve heard visitors/persons entering the jail for booking will place the drug in a balloon to protect the drug. The balloon is placed in their mouth (easy to detect) or secreted in the vagina or anus and removed once inside. Or, they swallow the balloon and recover it at the next bowel movement. Employee’s at other facilities throughout the states have been arrested/convicted for providing drugs to inmates.


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