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Jeffco inmate who was found unconscious committed suicide

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By Ramsey Scott

A Jeffco jail prisoner who was found unconscious in his cell last week and died a day later committed suicide, the Sheriff's Office confirmed Monday.

Timothy Baca, 42, was found unconscious about 7:37 a.m. July 27 during a walk-through by a deputy, according to sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer. Baca received medical attention at the jail and was transported to a local hospital, where he was put on life support. He was pronounced dead about 1 p.m. July 28.  

The Jeffco coroner determined the cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation. Baca used an athletic bandage, given to him by medical staff at the jail for a shoulder injury, to strangle himself, Techmeyer said. Baca was alone in his cell when he was found.

A full autopsy is being conducted by the Jeffco coroner.

Baca was in custody in connection with the slaying of his mother, Bernice Medina, in Lakewood in March 2014. According to media reports at the time of his arrest, Baca told law enforcement that his mother had been possessed by demons and God told him to kill her.

Baca was awaiting a trial scheduled to start in September. Since arriving at the jail last year, Baca hadn’t been involved in any incident that flagged him for observation, Techmeyer said.

“There was no signs or indications that he had this planned,” Techmeyer said.

Techmeyer said it is standard procedure for prisoners to be given athletic bandages for injuries and in his 12 years with the Sheriff’s Office he hasn’t heard of an incident involving one that caused injury or death.

Baca’s suicide was the fourth death at the jail since 2013. Two inmates, one in 2014 and one in 2013, committed suicide. A third, Jennifer Lobato, died while awaiting medical attention in March.

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1035, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check www.columbinecourier.com for updates.