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ND jail inmate death ruled ‘not cause for concern’

MINOT, N.D. -- A Ward County Jail inmate who was taken to Trinity Hospital in Minot and later died has not triggered further investigation by the Department of Corrections.

According to Don Redmann, director of facility operations for the DOC which oversees jail inspections, a preliminary report regarding the death of inmate Oscar Wilkie III of Minot, based on initial information, did not indicate the need to request further investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

"There was nothing to indicate that there was any staff concerns or inmate concerns, nothing criminal in the jail," said Redmann. "Staff response was quick and appropriate, nothing to indicate concerns for the DOC to step in."

Wilkie was arrested and booked into the Ward County Jail on Thursday, January 4. On Sunday Jan. 7, at 9:29 a.m. a cellmate alerted jail staff of a medical emergency. Wilkie was immediately transported to Trinity Hospital. He died Wednesday, Jan. 10 after being removed from life support.

Wilkie's body was transported to the State Coroner's office in Bismarck for the purpose of conducting an autopsy. According to Redmann it will take "some time to get the autopsy report back."

Wilkie was facing a misdemeanor A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and a felony B charge of criminal conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.