Hawaii man found dead in Arizona prison cell, cold case convict investigated

Published: Aug. 7, 2015 at 7:11 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 7, 2015 at 7:18 PM HST
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SUGUARO, ARIZONA (HawaiiNewsNow) -- - A Maui man jailed in an Arizona prison has died.

Saguaro Correctional Center has notified the Department of Public Safety of the death of Jonathan Namauleg at their facility in Eloy, Arizona.

On Thursday, at about 3:15 p.m. (HST), Saguaro inmate Jason McCormick activated a distress button in the housing cell and told correctional officers that his cellmate needed medical attention.

Corrections Officers found 21-year old inmate Namauleg unconscious and face-down on the floor in the cell. They immediately notified an emergency response team and medical staff who arrived within minutes to assess Namauleg and begin CPR. An ambulance arrived at 3:30 p.m. to take over CPR and take Namauleg to a nearby hospital.

The hospital pronounced Namauleg deceased at about 5 p.m. An autopsy is pending.

Eloy Police are investigating the cause of death and are treating the cell in which the death occurred as a crime scene. Department of Public Safety investigators are also being sent to Arizona to investigate the incident.

Jonathan Namauleg was serving three years for third degree arson on Maui.

41-year old Jason McCormick is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for second degree murder.  McCormick was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 1996 strangulation of a University of Pittsburgh professor. The victim, Robert Henderson,  was at the time s guest lecturer at the University of Hawaii.

The case remained unsolved until 2008, when McCormick confessed while being treated at a psychiatric facility.

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