2 jail deaths blamed on drug overdoses

SAN DIEGO — Two inmates who died over the summer in San Diego jails lost their lives to drug overdoses, authorities reported Tuesday.

The first of the two fatalities occurred Aug. 3, when the family of 41- year-old Michael Hossfeld directed physicians to take him off life support, according to sheriff’s officials. Hossfeld had been in a coma since July 20, when he was found unconscious in a cell at San Diego Central Jail, Lt. Michael Blevins said.

An autopsy determined that Hossfeld — who had been in custody for 691 days and was charged with multiple crimes, including robbery — died from lack of oxygen to the brain due to acute fentanyl toxicity. His death was ruled an accident.

The second of the two in-custody deaths took place Aug. 26. About 10:30 that morning, guards at George Bailey Detention Facility found inmate Jose Sevilla, 39, unresponsive in his cell. Despite efforts by deputies and medics to revive him, Sevilla was pronounced dead at the scene.

Postmortem exams showed that Sevilla, who had been jailed for about three months on drug and theft-related charges, died of an accidental heroin overdose, Blevins said.

It was unclear how Hossfeld and Sevilla obtained the narcotics.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.