Yakima County jail inmate accused of killing mother died by suicide, coroner says

Warning: This article includes details of a suicide
Yakima County jail

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 40-year-old man accused of killing his mother died at the hospital Sunday after being found unresponsive last week in his cell at the Yakima County jail.

Jeffrey Pickens, 40, was arrested June 28 and charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his mother, 74-year-old Mary Pickens.

Pickens was reportedly being held in a cell by himself when a corrections officer found him unresponsive Thursday afternoon, “with his uniform tied around his neck,” according to a news release.

Medical staff and officers started CPR and took him by ambulance to Virginia Mason Memorial hospital, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, the release said.  He was pronounced dead at 9:56 p.m. on Sunday by medical staff.

The Yakima County Coroner’s Office has conducted an autopsy and ruled the death a suicide. According to the release, officers had last contacted Pickens within 30 minutes of him being found.

According to the release, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, while the Yakima County Department of Corrections is conducting its own internal investigation.