Authorities have listed suicide as the cause of death for an inmate who had been in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail.
The deceased has been named as 21 year-old Pleasanton resident Joseph Behiel. Behiel was taken into custody mid last week and was being held on a series of weapons charges. He was also found to be in violation of his probation. It is unclear what the defendant’s bail amount had been set at or whether the court had issued a no-bail hold due to the probation violation. Authorities have not said what his prior arrest was for or how long he had been incarcerated in the past.
Not much is being said about when or how the now deceased Behiel was found. Jail officials have indicated he was found unresponsive and that medical professionals administered emergency care. The life saving efforts were unsuccessful. The county coroner said his stated cause of death was asphyxia. It is unclear how the defendant was able to obstruct his airway.
The matter is currently under investigation by the district attorney’s office as well as the sheriff’s department. County officials have reportedly said this is standard protocol whenever an inmate dies while in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail. Foul play is not suspected.