Inmate collapses at Champaign County Jail, dies at Carle


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URBANA — An inmate at the Champaign County Jail died on Easter morning.

Paul E. Clifton, 59, of Urbana, was pronounced dead at 10:18 a.m. Sunday in the emergency department at Carle Foundation Hospital, according to the Champaign County coroner.

Champaign County Chief Deputy Allen Jones said Mr. Clifton "experienced what appeared to be a seizure and respiratory arrest" about 9:15 a.m. Sunday.

"Correctional officers immediately began lifesaving efforts while summoning both Urbana Fire Rescue and an ambulance for assistance," he said.

Coroner Duane Northrup said Mr. Clifton was transported to the hospital after he reportedly collapsed inside the jail.

According to Jones, Mr. Clifton had been arrested at 1:20 a.m. Saturday. Judge John Kennedy issued a warrant for his arrest for violating the terms of probation for driving on a suspended license.

Mr. Clifton had been held at the jail on $3,000 bond.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday morning, Northrup said. An inquest may be held at a later date.

"While there is no reason to suspect foul play, the sheriff has asked the Illinois State Police to activate the Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team to investigate this matter," Northrup said. 

Northrup said the investigating team began its work at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.


Tim Mitchell is a reporter at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@mitchell6).

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