Inmate Robert Shuey Died After Being Found Unconscious In Cell At San Diego Central Jail

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (August 10, 2023) – A 67-year-old inmate identified as Robert Shuey has died after being found unresponsive in his cell at the San Diego Central Jail.

San Diego County officials are saying that the incident began around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Robert Shuey was found unresponsive in his cell by correctional officers. Jail staff entered the cell and began CPR.

When paramedics arrived, they took over life-saving measures. Despite the efforts of paramedics, Robert Shuey was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inmate was previously arrested on suspicion of DUI. There is no word yet on what may have contributed to his death.


Liability For San Diego County Inmate Deaths

Thousands of inmates die in custody every year. A large portion of these inmates were never formally charged with a crime let alone convicted. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “A total of 4,234 persons died in state and federal prisons in 2019, a 6.6% decrease from the 4,515 deaths in 2018 reported to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) Mortality in Correctional Institutions (MCI, formerly the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program) data collection.” There are a number of factors that could contribute to an in-custody death.

  • Many inmates die due to inadequate medical care.
  • Many people overdose in-custody on illicit drugs such as fentanyl.
  • Many inmates die from the physiological effects of going through drug or alcohol withdrawal.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail could be liable for an inmates death. Jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with reasonably adequate healthcare. This starts when they are first admitted. New inmates must get a health screening and gain access to any medications that they may need. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any in-custody death.

  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
  • Relevant surveillance footage should be sought.
  • A thorough investigation should be conducted.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

Losing someone that you love can be extremely difficult. Losing someone in custody can be even more difficult due to the lack of transparency about what happened. The family of any person that died in custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know if a jail could be liable for your loved one’s death.

Investigating Inmate Deaths At The San Diego Central Jail

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Robert Shuey. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the San Diego Central Jail? Our team of inmates rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We focus on helping people who have been harmed by police abuse and jail neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any inmate death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at  (949) 825-5200.


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