Inmate fatally injured in San Diego jail fight identified

SAN DIEGO – Authorities Tuesday released the name of an inmate who died nearly two weeks after he was gravely injured during an apparent fight with his cellmate at the San Diego Central Jail.

Michael Sugar, 61, was pronounced dead about 4:45 a.m. Friday at UCSD Medical Center, according to sheriff’s officials and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Sugar had been at the Hillcrest hospital since shortly after the fatal clash between the two inmates, which occurred sometime on the afternoon of May 12, sheriff’s Lt. Michael Blevins said. Jail deputies responding to the disturbance found Sugar on a bed inside his cell suffering from extensive head trauma.

“Deputies attempted to ask the victim what had happened, but he was unable to respond due to his injuries,” Blevins said.

Detectives from the jail’s internal investigations unit were initially assigned to the case, but following Sugar’s death, it was handed over to sheriff’s homicide detectives.

The other inmate involved in the fight remains in custody on charges of battery on a police officer, vandalism and being under the influence of a controlled substance. His name has not been released.

Sugar was in custody at the time of the fight on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was one of two inmates to die from injuries suffered at the downtown detention center in as many days.

A prisoner who had been found hanged in his cell at the Front Street jail on May 19 succumbed to his injuries Thursday in a trauma center. The death of the 52-year-old man, who was housed by himself in a medical-observation cell, was being investigated as a suicide. His identity has not yet been made public.