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State investigating death of Hawaii inmate in Arizona

By Star-Advertiser Staff


Two investigators from the Hawaii Department of Public Safety will travel to Arizona to investigate the death of a Hawaii inmate at Saquaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz.

Tommy Johnson, Public Safety Department deputy director for corrections, said the internal affairs team will look into the death of Clifford Medina, 23, who died in his cell Tuesday.

A cellmate reported that Medina was unresponsive at about 8:37 a.m.

Prison medical personnel administered life-saving techniques until paramedics arrived, Johnson said.

Medina was pronounced dead at about 9:07 a.m. Johnson said.

He is the second Hawaii inmate to die at Saquaro Correctional Center in five months.  Bronson Nunuha, 26, of Maui, was discovered unresponsive in his cell Feb. 18 and emergency personnel were unable to revive him.

Medina was serving time for assaulting a law enforcement officer in the first degree, two counts of second degree burglary, one count of theft second degree and one count of bail jumping in the first degree.

Saquaro Correctional Center is owned and operated by the Corrections Corporation of America. It houses about 1,900 Hawaii  inmates under contract with the  Department of Public Safety.

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