WAUKEGAN (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A Lake County jail detainee died Friday, nearly three weeks after he was attacked by another man who was being held at the jail.
On March 9, a corrections officer found 60-year-old Jeffrey R. Weiss on the floor of his cell suffering from “labored breathing,” according to the Lake County sheriff’s office.
Prior to the attack, Weiss was arguing with 36-year-old Timothy R. Adams, another jail detainee, the sheriff’s office said. While a corrections officer was making rounds, Adams had choked Weiss and then punched a 40-year-old man who was also being held in custody.
Weiss, of Deerfield, was initially rushed to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan and was later transferred to Rush University Medical Center with “stroke-like symptoms,” the sheriff’s office said.
The day after the attack, Weiss spoke wth detectives and corroborated information they had learned from other detainees, the sheriff’s office said. Later that day, he had a procedure to remove a blockage in one of his arteries.
On March 11, he had another surgery to reduce swelling on his brain and he was placed in an induced coma with a ventilator, the sheriff’s office said.
Ten days later, Weiss was removed from the coma and the ventilator, the sheriff’s office said. At that point, his family made the decision not to continue with his medical care if he was unable to continue living without using a ventilator.
He eventually “went into medical distress” on Friday and was not resuscitated, the sheriff’s office said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to rule on the cause and manner of Weiss’ death and determine whether the March 9 battery was a factor, the sheriff’s office said.
Adams has already been charged with a felony count of aggravated battery and a misdemeanor count of battery in connection with the attack, the sheriff’s office said. After the autopsy is conducted, the sheriff’s office and the Lake County state’s attorney’s office will determine whether additional charges will be filed against Adams.
“We will seek prosecution for any inmate who makes the unwise decision to engage in a physical fight,” according to Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg. “We will absolutely not tolerate inmates fighting with other inmates, fighting with our staff, or violating jail rules.”
Adams, of North Chicago, is currently being held at the jail on $500,000 bail that stems from a list of other charges, including aggravated vehicular hijacking and aggravated unlawful restraint, among others, the sheriff’s office said. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday.