Medical Examiner's Report Finally Out On Death of Maricopa County Jail Inmate

posted May 31, 2012, 11:16 AM by David Kephart   [ updated May 31, 2012, 11:33 AM ]
One more piece to the puzzle in Ernest Atencio's tragic death has come to light as the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's report regarding his December 17th death is now being released.  According to the report, Mr. Atencio, a 44-year old Gulf War Veteran, died of complications due to cardiac arrest.  Mr. Atencio was arrested on December 16th after reports of his erratic behavior due to his failure to take medication for his mental illness.  According to,         

"Surveillance video from the Fourth Avenue Jail showed an altercation with several Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detention officers and two Phoenix police officers began about 90 minutes after the two officers brought Atencio to the jail.

The video shows one Phoenix officer putting Atencio in a chokehold and wrestling him to the ground. About 10 officers then pile on Atencio; an MCSO detention officer is seen "drive tasing" Atencio - holding a Taser against Atencio's body to inflict pain.

About 45 minutes later, at 3:15 a.m., the video shows jail personnel dragging Atencio's limp, naked body out of a padded jail cell. He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he died Dec. 20 after his family had him removed from life support."

Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney David Kephart handles criminal, civil rights, and personal injury cases in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale and throughout Maricopa County.  He also works with a network of attorneys covering many practice areas, so if he cannot personally represent you, he will help you find an attorney that can.  Attorney David Kephart's office is located at 9920 South Rural Road, Suite 108, Box 124 Tempe, Arizona 85284.  His office number is (480) 456-0025 and fax number is (480) 718-7833.