by Photo courtesy of San Diego County Sheriffs Office

The sheriff's office reported the death of an inmate at the George Bailey County Detention Center.

Twenty-five-year-old Omar Ornelas, a San Marcos resident, was in a cell Wednesday with two other men. When Ornelas and another detainee in the same cell failed to respond to a security check, officers went to the cell and found Ornelas and another man unresponsive.

The sheriff said deputies revived the other, unidentified man with a dose of naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses. Officers from the detention center took that man to a hospital.

However, the sheriff reported that sheriff's officers and paramedics' attempts to revive Ornelas, also in overdose, were unsuccessful.

"Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board was notified of the death and responded to the George Bailey Detention Center," the sheriff reported.

Ornelas was initially arrested in 2018 on vandalism charges, but Oceanside police filed additional charges for homicide and the use of a firearm to benefit a gang.

San Diego County is at the center of a controversy over an audit that found "excessive deaths in custody."

According to an audit, San Diego County had 24 more jail deaths than projected between 2010 and 2020, the highest percentage among California's 12 most populous counties.

In mid-March, Assemblywoman Akilah Weber introduced Assembly Bill 2343, known as the Saving Lives in Custody Act, to ensure people in custody be treated with dignity.

Additionally, in March, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved all of the recommendations made in the state audit that found San Diego as counties with "excessive in-custody deaths."

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