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Inmate found dead in Pima County Jail cell

A 76-year-old man jailed on aggravated assault charges was found dead in the Pima County jail on Monday morning. Ricardo Pascual was found unresponsive in his cell, authorities said.

Pascual was found by "corrections officers doing their rounds" in the jail around 10 a.m., said a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

Jail guards "immediately entered the cell and began administering emergency life saving measures while they waited for Tucson Fire Department personnel to arrive," said Deputy James Allerton.

Medical personnel pronounced Ricardo Sena Pascual III dead at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex, 1270 W. Silverlake Rd., he said.

PCSD detectives found "no suspicious circumstances," Allerton said, describing the investigation as "ongoing."

Pascual is among four inmates who have died at the jail in recent months.

Pascual's case was still in the court system; he had not yet faced trial.

He was charged in a case filed in August, and was being held on $7,500 bond. Pascual was charged with a type of assault under Arizona law for allegedly "intentionally or knowingly impedes the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by obstructing the nose and mouth either manually or through the use of an instrument." (ARS 13-1204 B1)

Details of the allegations in the case against him were not immediately available from online court records.

A divorce action was recently filed in Pima County Superior Court against a Ricardo Sena Pascual by his wife.

Recent jail deaths

Other recent deaths at the jail include the September 6 death of Hector Francisco Medrano, 27, who was found unresponsive in a cell.

Medrano faced shoplifting charges from March 2020 and theft by control and criminal trespassing charges from April, stemming from cases in South Tucson.

Ricardo Duran, 32, died at the jail in June while awaiting sentencing in an attempted armed robbery.

Duran's death was not announced by the Pima County Sheriff's Department. A PCSD spokeswoman confirmed it after TucsonSentinel.com inquired based on a tip from a source.

Duran's death was later determined to be the result of a drug overdose.

In August, 38-year-old Evan Hizer died at the jail just days after his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 2.5 years behind bars.

Last November, the death of an inmate, Francisco Ruiz, during a "use-of-force encounter" with Pima County jail guards was kept under wraps for days, until after TucsonSentinel.com published a news report about it.

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The Pima County Adult Detention Center