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Lake County Sheriff On Defensive After Woman’s Death From Hunger Strike

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Jail/Prison

(Credit: AP)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — The Lake County Sheriff is defending his jail’s handling of an inmate who died after refusing to eat.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Lyvita Gomes, 52, was arrested this past October for ignoring a jury summons. But as a citizen of India, she would have been ineligible to serve anyway.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

When a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy went to the residential hotel in Vernon Hills where Gomes lived, she allegedly resisted, and was thus charged with misdemeanor resisting.

While in jail, it was learned Gomes’ visa had expired. Then she refused to eat.

The Chicago Tribune reports the former flight attendant supervisor had a history of mental health issues and thought she was in court for tennis lessons.

Lake County Jail officials transferred Gomes to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan a day before she was to appear in court, to determine whether she was mentally fit to stand trial, the Daily Herald reported earlier this month.

Gomes died a couple of days later, of dehydration and malnutrition. Officials have not been able to locate any family members, the Daily Herald reported.

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