Spokane County Jail inmate death Dec. 6

SPOKANE, Wash. - An inmate at the Spokane County Jail who was accused of causing his mother's overdose death is dead from an apparent suicide on Friday evening.

According to Spokane County, 33-year-old Robert Abraham Taitch died at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Dec. 6, after climbing up on a guard rail and jumping head first into a cement floor below. Lifesaving measures were administered by jail staff, but Taitch was pronounced dead at the scene.

Taitch was being held on controlled-substance homicide, two counts of violating a no-contact order, fourth-degree assault, second-degree assault and first-degree theft. He was awaiting trial and had been in custody since Wednesday, Dec. 4.

“As with any death that occurs in custody, this incident is truly tragic," Detention Services Director Michael Sparber said. "We take the safety of our inmate population and our employees very seriously. This incident is heart wrenching for our staff especially in light of endless efforts we have put in place to implement policies recommended by nationally recognized consultants to address suicide prevention and medical emergencies in our facilities.”

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death.

According to our partners at the Spokesman-Review, police suspected Taitch of administering a lethal dose of heroin or methamphetamine to his mother, 64-year-old Sharon Simpson-White back in June.

In August, the Spokane County Medical Examiner listed Simpson-White's cause of death as "Combined drug toxicity due to exposure to heroin, hydrocodone and ethanol," with the manner of death being determined to be "homicide."

Spokane County Detention Services is currently housing 654 inmates in the downtown Spokane County Jail. Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, Mary Kuney, said, “On behalf of the County Commissioners, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Taitch. We also want to commend the Spokane County Detention Services staff for the efforts they make on a daily basis to keep our inmate population and their fellow correction officers safe.”