UPDATE 2: Deputies identify inmate who committed suicide in jail - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE 2: Deputies identify inmate who committed suicide in jail

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Authorities release more information about the local inmate they believe committed suicide.

The Eau Claire County Sheriff's office says Jason Denning died a day after being booked into the jail. Investigators believe he hanged himself in his cell.

Denning was arrested on Monday in a domestic abuse. Court documents show he allegedly hit and choked his girlfriend early Sunday morning. He was also accused of locking her in a bathroom against her will. On Monday, she called police. Officers say the found the words ‘kill her' written on a shed outsider her home. The arrest on Monday marked the fourth time he had been in the Eau Claire County Jail in four years.

Denning's death comes two months after another inmate, Greg Gubernot, took his own life in the county jail. The sheriff's office says a third inmate attempted suicide in May. Investigators say unlike Gubernot, Denning did nothing to prevent officers from getting into his cell. The sheriff's office did say that sight lines were a factor Tuesday – as they were in the Gubernot case.

The initial review shows officers acted appropriately and took every step they could to save Denning's life. Investigators say it appears cell checks were done by the book, and there were no indications that Denning was going to take his life. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department is looking into what happened. That investigation should be finished next week.


Eau Claire (Press Release) - On Tuesday, around 1:30 p.m. an officer was performing a cell check and standard count, when he found a male inmate unconscious in his cell. The officer immediately summoned assistance from other officers and requested EMS be called. Officers performed life saving measures, including CPR and the application of an AED, until the Eau Claire Fire Department arrived and took over care of the inmate. The subject was pronounced dead at 2:06 p.m.

The deceased is identified as Jason R. Denning, 31, of Eau Claire. Denning had been arrested by Eau Claire Police on Monday at about 2:50 p.m. and booked into the Eau Claire County Jail about 3:15 p.m. He made a video court appearance at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, for charges of domestic abuse related to battery, false imprisonment and strangulation. He received a $2,000 cash bond. Denning remained in a classification block after court and until this event.

An autopsy was performed early Wednesday. The preliminary results of the autopsy show death by asphyxiation/strangulation via ligature. This preliminary result would be consistent with a suicide by hanging.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office are in the process of reviewing this event. This review is standard procedure to ensure compliance with department policies and Wisconsin state standards. Initial portions of the review indicate the officers involved acted appropriately and took all steps possible to save the life of Denning. Following this review, the state jail inspector will also complete an administrative review of this event. The final results of all reviews will be available in the future.


Eau Claire (WQOW) - For the second time in two months, an inmate commits suicide at the Eau Claire County jail.

The Eau Claire Sheriff's Department says a 31-year-old inmate committed suicide Tuesday afternoon around 1:30 PM. He was being held on a $2,000 cash bond. The name of the inmate is not being released.

The Eau Claire and Jackson County Sheriff's Departments will be investigating.

Two months ago, Greg Gubernot committed suicide the day before he was supposed to stand trial for allegedly murdering his girlfriend.

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