Coroner’s inquest jury finds both El Sobrante, Antioch men’s in-custody deaths were accidents

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston announced Friday, May 28, 2021 that a coroner’s jury reached a finding in the November 17, 2020 death of 30-year-old Ezekiel James McCoy of El Sobrante. The finding of the jury is that the death was an accident. (See related article)

McCoy sustained injuries during a fight with other inmates at the West County Detention Facility. After being treated and cleared by medical staff at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, he was placed in a negative air flow room at the Martinez Detention Facility pending the result of a COVID-19 test. He was checked on throughout the day and last checked at 4:23 PM. About nine minutes later, deputies found McCoy unresponsive.

The coroner’s jury, which heard two inquests on Friday, also reached a finding in the October 7, 2020 death of 31-year-old Kentreal Julius Irving of Antioch. The finding of the jury is that the death was an accident. (See related article)

Irving jumped to his death off the Highway 242 overpass while fleeing from Sheriff’s Deputies.  At that time, Sheriff’s Deputies believed Irving to be from Concord.

The coroner’s jury reached the verdicts in both inquests after hearing the testimony of witnesses. The hearing officer for the McCoy inquest was Matthew Guichard; the hearing officer for the Irving inquest was Laura Pagey.

A coroner’s inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving peace officers, is a public hearing during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members can choose from the following four options when making their finding: accident, suicide, natural causes or at the hands of another person, other than by accident.

 

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