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Coroner: Benton County Jail inmate's death accidental, brought on by synthetic marijuana

Coroner: Benton County Jail inmate's death accidental, brought on by synthetic marijuana

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - The 18-year-old Pasco inmate who died in Benton County Jail in March died from heart problems and dehydration associated with synthetic marijuana use according to the coroner.

Benton County Coroner John Hansens says an autopsy performed on Marc Anthony Moreno, 18, in March was not able to prove the cause of death, and could not be determined until toxicology reports came back.

Hansens has ruled Moreno's death accidental and caused by heart issues, specifically cardiac arrhythmia, (an irregular heartbeat) and dehydration, from using synthetic marijuana.

Moreno was taken to Benton County Jail on March 3 after authorities say he had several warrants out and exhibited disruptive behavior at a local mental health facility. Family of Moreno protested after the 18-year-old's death, asking for answers.

RELATED: Booking video of inmate found dead at Benton County Jail released

Booking video of Moreno was also released, which contributed to the Moreno's family outrage. They said the booking video did not show Moreno acting aggressively, and the family did not agree with officers putting him into a restraint chair.

However authorities say Moreno displayed erratic behavior before and during his incarceration, including spitting at officers and tearing up padding on the floor of the single-unit cell he was put into.

RELATED: Family of inmate who died in Benton County jail reacts to video footage

The coroner says the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) responded to the death in March and opened an investigation.

The coroner says there were no signs of internal or external injuries on Moreno' body at the time of death.

Facebook page called Justice for Marc Anthony Moreno dedicated to getting answers for his death.


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