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Leon County Sheriff's Office investigating 2nd inmate death in less than a week

Posted at 12:43 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 12:43:52-04
  • For the second time in less than a week, the Leon County Sheriff's Office is investigating an inmate's death.
  • A 26-year-old inmate was found unresponsive early Monday morning. In a separate case, a 43-year-old inmate was found unresponsive early Friday morning.
  • Read the news release below to see what's next for the latest case.


On Monday, April 15th at approximately 1:30 a.m., a correctional officer found an inmate unresponsive in his cell at the Leon County Detention Facility.

Life saving measures were initiated by the correctional officer and detention medical staff until responders from the Leon County Emergency Medical Services arrived.

At 1:42 a.m., the inmate, identified as 26-year-old John Russo, was pronounced deceased. Russo had been in custody at the detention facility since February 2024. He was housed in a single-cell, protective custody pod.

Pursuant to policy, the inquiry into Russo’s death was assumed by detectives with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit.

Although not required to do so, Sheriff Walt McNeil has requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) assist in the investigation. The Leon County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy, to determine the official cause and manner of death.