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Hernando jail inmate dies, apparently of natural causes

BROOKSVILLE — A 58-year-old Hernando County Jail inmate died early Wednesday after jail staffers found him unresponsive in the medical section of the facility.

According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report, Danny Lee Tucker was booked into jail Sept. 21 and then placed in the medical section because of "extreme obesity" — he weighed 410 pounds — and other physical ailments associated with his condition.

At about 3 a.m. Wednesday, a nurse making the rounds in the area was unable to get a verbal response from Tucker in his cell. The nurse went into the cell, performed a "sternum rub" and got a facial reaction from Tucker, according to the report.

The nurse then checked his pulse and breathing, which both appeared to be fine.

About an hour later, according to the report, a deputy assigned to medical security noticed Tucker was again unresponsive in his cell and that his chest was not rising and falling. Medical staffers placed Tucker on the floor and attempted to perform CPR. Paramedics were summoned to the jail, but efforts to revive Tucker proved unsuccessful.

Tucker was booked into jail in September for violation of a domestic violence injunction and failure to appear.

After his death, his body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Leesburg for autopsy. A preliminary investigation indicated that Tucker died from natural causes, but the investigation into his death was ongoing.

Tucker was the second inmate to die in custody since the Sheriff's Office took over operations at the jail from Corrections Corporation of America in late August.

Joel Anderson can be reached at or (352) 754-6120.

Hernando jail inmate dies, apparently of natural causes 10/13/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 8:11pm]
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