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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Alachua County Jail inmate dies after having seizures Sunday

A 51-year-old man died after having two seizures in jail Sunday morning.

Officers woke Willie Joel Sanders in his Alachua County Jail cell at 5 a.m. Sunday so a nurse could check his blood-sugar levels, said Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Todd Kelly.

An officer escorted Sanders to a common area to meet the nurse.

She then left the room and while he was waiting for her to return, Sanders suffered a seizure, Kelly said.

Sanders remained conscious, but immediately seized again.

After the second seizure, he didn’t wake up. Nurses and other jail staff performed CPR but couldn’t revive him.

Alachua County Fire Rescue took Sanders to Shands at UF.

He was pronounced dead at 6:46 a.m. Sunday, Kelly said, adding that inmates are asked about their medical history when they are booked into the jail.

“Something in his initial medical screening prompted the nurses to check his blood,” Kelly said.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the cause of death.

Sanders was arrested Saturday morning on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

There was also a warrant out for his arrest due to unpaid child support.

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