From Sheriff Dennis Dotson
Very early Wednesday morning, Bradley Steven Thomas, age 55 of Waldport was found unresponsive in his jail cell in the Lincoln County Jail. It was determined Mr. Thomas was deceased and that neither CPR nor other life-saving efforts were an option that would revive him.
Mr. Thomas was arrested on charges of Menacing, Harassment, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. A civil commitment hearing was held on April 7. It was determined that Mr. Thomas would be committed to a psychiatric hospital ward as soon as an available bed could be located.
Oregon State law requires hourly cell checks. This involves a deputy making contact with every inmate in the facility to confirm the welfare of each inmate. During the night, this requires the deputy to enter each housing unit and confirm the sleeping inmate is breathing.
It was during the cell check early Wednesday morning that Mr. Thomas’s lifeless body was discovered. The previous cell check confirmed that Mr. Thomas was alive and not experiencing any apparent distress.
As there were no visible signs indicating Mr. Thomas’s cause of death, an autopsy will be performed by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Newport Police Department responded to our call for assistance and conducted the death investigation.
Mr. Thomas’s next of kin was notified.