Taos Inmate Commits Suicide

An inmate at the Taos County Adult Detention Center committed suicide using a bed sheet on July 16.

According to Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, deputies responded to assist detention center staff and found Juan Espinoza-Garcia unconscious in his cell at about 9:40 a.m. Detention center medical staff and Taos County Emergency Medical Services personnel (EMS) attempted resuscitation unsuccessfully.

Espinoza-Garcia was taken into custody July 15 on a felony warrant issued by Taos Magistrate Court for possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

On July 7, Taos Police responded to a call at the Taos Walmart (located at 926 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur) that Espinoza-Garcia’s girlfriend made, according to court documents. When police arrived, Espinoza-Garcia was unresponsive, possibly from a heroin overdose, according to the police report. He was transported to Holy Cross Hospital. 

“It is sad that this happened and we offer our condolences to the family," said Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe. 

Meanwhile, it was determined that the vehicle he was driving, a Dodge Durango, had stolen license plates, the report said. 

Espinoza-Garcia left the hospital and a warrant for his arrest was issued. He was taken into custody July 15 on the outstanding warrant, and apparently killed himself the next morning, according to court documents.

“ ... It is believed that Mr. Espinoza-Garcia acted alone when he fashioned a sheet tied to his bed in a manner to cause strangulation. There is no indication that he was assisted in his death or that anyone was aware of his intentions to end his life,” Hogrefe said.

On July 18, detention center officials confirmed that a 28-year old male had died, but were not providing further information due to notification of family members.

“It is sad that this happened and we offer our condolences to the family and our support to them and to all the responders,” said Hogrefe.