Inmate dies after Taser shock

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According to a story in the Spokesman-Review by Kevin Culp, a Spokane man who was convicted on one count of vehicular manslaughter in the July 2005 deaths of three family members died on Christmas Day 2012 after being shocked by a Taser at the Benton County Jail.

Taser Death?
Autopsy Pending.

Although Kevin T. Culp had an unknown medical problem, it has been noted that the condition made him prone to seizures.  Culp had been placed in isolation cell so that jail nurses who worked at the jail could watch over him.

It was reported that Culp became aggressive and that he would struggle with the officers, occasionally biting them.  He was then shocked with the Taser which “appeared to have little effect” on him.  After being shocked, the jailers placed him in a restraint chair.

About 15 minutes later, the staff members noticed that he was “unresponsive” and called for emergency medical help. He died at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington.

Culp was placed in the Benton County Jail as a contract inmate for the state Department of Corrections, where he was on a courtesy hold for Idaho, according to the Tri-City Herald.  Along with the vehicular manslaughter conviction, Culp was also convicted in the 2004 shooting death of Cedric Sykes. Sykes was 19-years-old and a friend of Culp. The death was ruled accidental.

An investigation later determined that Culp had suffered a seizure while driving and caused the head-on collision with the minivan driven by Henrietta Lewis, a Spokane Valley resident. Lewis; her sister, Tonia Lewis; and Tonia’s 9-month-old son Ebin Lewis all died in that crash. Three others were injured.

The Tri-City Special Investigative Unit will be conducting an independent investigation of Culp’s death. The Benton County Sheriff’s office will also be doing an internal review.

An autopsy is scheduled for this week.