Davis is the third Hawaii inmate to die in the past month
POSTED: 9:32 a.m. HST, May 8, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 3:22 p.m. HST, May 8, 2013
The Medical Examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy today to determine how Mark Davis Jr., acquitted in the shocking rape and murder of a 6-year-old girl nearly a decade ago, died Tuesday while awaiting trial for assaulting a mental health worker.
Davis was the third prison death in a month.
Davis, 25, was found dead in his cell at the Oahu Community Correctional Center by health workers making their rounds at 4:35 p.m. He was alone at the time of his death, officials said.
There are no obvious signs of foul play or suicide at this time, said Toni Schwartz, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman,
The case is classified as an unattended death, pending the results of the autopsy.
Davis was pronounced dead at 5:13 p.m. after attempts to revive him failed, Schwartz said.
When he was 14, Davis was acquitted of raping and beating Kauilani Tadeo near her family's Puna home on Sept. 27, 2001. She died from a blow to her head.
Prosecutors said Davis admitted that the police investigation proved he sexually assaulted and killed the girl. But mental health experts had diagnosed Davis as suffering from mental problems that included mild to moderate mental retardation, intermittent explosive disorder and antisocial personality disorder. In 2005, he was acquitted of the murder and rape charges by reason of insanity and committed to the state hospital.
While at the Kaneohe hospital, Davis escaped for a couple of hours in May 2011 before he was found in a canal near a shopping center at Temple Valley. Davis was charged with escape but was acquitted by reason of insanity and returned to the hospital.
Davis was at the Kalihi prison facility awaiting trial for assaulting a Kaneohe staff member.
Davis’ death comes nearly two weeks after prison authorities said Ikaika Andrade committed suicide April 29, while being held at OCCC.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office said Andrade’s death was caused by asphyxia due to suicidal hanging.
Andrade, an 18-year-old Waianae High School student, admitted stabbing another student during a fight on campus in January.
Andrade was slated to be sentenced on May 8 by Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi after pleading no contest to second-degree assault. He faced a maximum punishment of five years in jail.
On April 8, Darius Puni-Mau also killed himself while at the Halawa Correctional Facility.
In October, Puni-Mau escaped from state custody while at Circuit Court. He was free for a day.
Puni-Mau was at Circuit Court for a probation revocation hearing.
"I am emphasizing to our staff that we have a crisis on our hands," Public Safety Director Ted Sakai wrote in an email to state Sen. Will Espero. Operations and health care staff were meeting Wednesday to review policies and programs for the mentally ill at OCCC, Sakai wrote in the email, provided by Espero.
Espero, who is chairman of the senate public safety committee, said he wants the state attorney general's office to conduct an evaluation and review of conditions and the environment at OCCC. He said he's concerned about "the fact that these are individuals under state custody and we're responsible for them," and "the fact that we've had three of them in two months."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.