Another man dies in custody of MDC

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Another person died in the custody of the Metropolitan Detention Center last month.

The Aug. 29 death of Nicholas McCoy comes six days after 65-year-old Anthony Armijo died at the jail.

Tia Bland, a Bernalillo County spokeswoman, said McCoy, 34, was taken from the jail to the University of New Mexico Hospital around 4 a.m. to be treated “for an undisclosed medical issue.”

“UNMH notified MDC staff of McCoy’s decline in health, prompting the notification of McCoy’s immediate family,” Bland wrote in an email. “McCoy passed away later that afternoon.”

Bland said the jail’s Office of Professional Standards is investigating McCoy’s death.

The Journal could not reach McCoy’s family.

He had been booked into jail in early July for failing to comply with conditions of his probation. McCoy had pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in October 2018.

McCoy is the 11th person to die while in the jail’s custody since April 2020.

In March, the Journal published on article detailing how nine people had died over the course of a year while in the custody of MDC – six of them while detoxing from drugs or alcohol or under the care of Centurion Detention Health Services. It was a dramatic increase over previous years.

A month later, after the county raised questions about the deaths, the provider decided it would leave the facility in six months – more than a year before the end of its contract.

The Bernalillo County Commission is scheduled to vote on the jail’s new medical contractor at its next meeting on Sept. 14.

According to the agenda posted on the county’s website, the commission will vote on whether to award a four-year contract to Corizon Correctional Healthcare.

The contract is for nearly $64.9 million over the four years.

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