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Inmate dies after altercation at Hamilton County Justice Center

Posted at 3:09 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-10 15:09:00-05

CINCINNATI -- An inmate at the Hamilton County Justice Center died after an altercation Sunday, Sheriff Jim Neil announced Monday.

The altercation occurred at about 5 p.m. Both inmates were transported to the medical unit for evaluation of minor injuries.

Cornelius Howell

Cornelius Howell, 33, was evaluated for a cut lip. He was placed in a restraint chair at the direction of the treating nurse, according to the sheriff's office. Howell was not combative and deputies didn't have to use force.

Corrections officers doing their rounds found Howell dead at about 9:40 p.m. 

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office is performing an autopsy to determine the cause of Howell's death. Deputies said there was not immediate sign of trauma or injury to Howell, but he did have "significant medical history" before he was jailed.

Howell was being held in the Justice Center on charges of aggravated menacing and criminal damaging since Dec. 2.