Jefferson County, CO. – Today at 5:15 a.m., Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies found 50-year-old inmate Paul George Abeyta unresponsive in his cell during a routine check. Lifesaving procedures began immediately and continued until just after 6:00 a.m., when he was pronounced deceased. Abeyta was housed alone in a medical unit of the jail due to drug withdrawal protocol and reported COVID-19 related symptoms.
Abeyta was arrested by the Lakewood Police Department on April 27, 2020. During the booking process, he indicated he had been a daily heroin user for the past five years. He also reported he was suffering from symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that began earlier that day. Abeyta did not have a fever upon arrival nor during any subsequent temperature check, but he was isolated from other inmates due to his reported symptoms. In accordance with withdrawal protocol, Abeyta was routinely checked on by deputies.
Abeyta was arrested on more than 10 felony or misdemeanor charges, including a failure to appear for possession of a controlled substance associated with a $100,000 bond amount.
This is an ongoing investigation and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death.