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Judge orders hearing into Mule Creek inmate death

IONE, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered a hearing on the death of a mentally ill inmate who was pepper-sprayed and left alone inside his cell at Mule Creek State Prison in Northern California.

The order by U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton on Wednesday follows a Sacramento Bee report (http://bit.ly/LYhI4s) that raised questions about the circumstances that led to the death of 35-year-old Joseph Duran.

Duran, who breathed through a tube in his throat, died Sept. 7, hours after he was doused with pepper spray. The newspaper says Duran yanked out his breathing tube and began coughing up blood.

According to the report, in the hours that followed guards left Duran alone, rejecting orders from medical officials that his breathing tube be reinserted.

Karlton ordered a Jan. 30 status hearing “to address issues arising from the death.”


Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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