General Crime

* Teresa Ellen Hagan was found hanging from a sweatshirt in her Sonoma County jail cell

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A Windsor woman found hanging from a sweatshirt in her Sonoma County jail cell in January committed suicide, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office announced today. District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said Teresa Ellen Hagan’s death on Jan. 21 did not involve criminal negligence on the part of jail staff. “As soon as jail staff became aware that Ms. Hagan was non-responsive, they acted lawfully and with due care in an attempt to save her life,” Passalacqua said in announcing the conclusion of his office’s review of the jail death. An autopsy by Dr. Kelly Arthur-Kenny determined marks on Hagan’s neck were consistent with the use of a sweatshirt, that Hagen had been hanging for about 10 minutes and that her death was consistent with hanging,
Passalacqua said. Hagan, 49, was pronounced dead at the Kaiser Permanente Medical center in Santa Rosa at 7:24 p.m. She was found hanging in her cell around 7 p.m., sheriff’s Lt. Chris Spallino said in January.  When Hagan was arrested July 13, 2009, for driving under the influence, the alcohol level in her blood was 0.31 and 0.29 percent, Passalacqua said. She posted bail and was released from jail and pleaded no contest Oct. 2 to DUI. She was sentenced to three years probation and 35 days in the Sonoma County jail but was allowed to apply for work release or home confinement, according to court records.  She was placed on home confinement and a monitoring band to detect alcohol use was placed on her ankle.  Her husband called the county probation department Jan. 21 because he believed she was intoxicated, Passalacqua said. Probation officers went to her home and she was taken into custody to complete the remainder of her sentence when she admitted she had been drinking, Passalacqua said. During booking questions and again when she sobered up, Hagan never indicated to jail staff she was suicidal and said she never tried to
kill herself, Passalacqua said. She was placed in a cell and checked every 15 minutes while she sobered up. Hagan was then checked in her cell every half-hour after she was sober until she was found hanging in her cell. Efforts to revive her at the jail and at the hospital failed, Passalacqua said. 
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