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Commissioners agree to pay family of inmate found dead in Benton County Jail $1.2 million

Commissioners agree to pay family of inmate found dead in Benton County Jail $1.2 million

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - Commissioners have agreed to pay the family of an 18-year-old found dead in a Benton County Jail cell $1.2 million.

The family's attorney, George Trejo, confirmed Tuesday Benton County Commissioners agreed to this amount in a wrongful death settlement.

Marc Anthony Moreno, 18, was found unconscious in his cell back in March of 2016.

Benton County police said because Moreno made suicidal threats, he was put in a padded single-person cell to prevent harm to himself.

An autopsy done by the Benton County coroner showed no signs of violence on the body. Moreno's death was ruled accidental, caused by heart problems and dehydration associated with synthetic marijuana use according to the coroner.

Moreno was initially at the Benton and Franklin Counties crisis response unit to be checked out for mental health issues after police said he was being aggressive and uncooperative.

According to Benton County Jail officials, Moreno was checked on more than 600 times by correction officers during his eight-day custody.

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