Six months after a 36-year-old mentally ill Summit County Jail inmate died, investigators Friday released their findings — 33 pages of documents that neither conclude whether there was wrongdoing at the hands of jailers, nor provide a conclusive timeline about what happened.

The report in the Sept. 2 death of Antony Jones does, however, raise some new questions, including whether six marks on Jones’ chest were made by one or more Tasers and whether those electric jolts could have affected his heart’s rhythm.

One fact investigators apparently agree on: Jones was a diagnosed schizophrenic whose behavior had changed during the three weeks he spent in jail before an altercation that preceded his death.

Five of those days, Jones was in “the hole,” solitary confinement often used to punish inmates who misbehave.

On Sept. 1 a deputy intended to move Jones out of his cell — possibly back to “the hole” — and Jones dropped to his knees to pray.

What happened next isn’t as clear.

Minutes later, Jones broke free from deputies in a nearby hallway, the report said.

Eight to ten deputies rushed to the scene. One or more used Tasers — electronic shock devices carried by many jailers and law enforcement — to help subdue Jones, the report said.

Deputies ultimately put Jones into a specially designed chair to restrain unruly or unstable inmates, the report said.

Jailers then put a special mask onto Jones’ face to prevent him from spitting, and, following protocol when a restraint chair is used, called the jail medical staff to examine Jones.

Within seconds, Jones went from struggling in the chair to unresponsive as nurses examined him, the report said.

The nurses moved Jones from the chair to the floor for resuscitation, according to a separate 10-page report by the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office included in the Stark County sheriff’s findings.

They applied a defibrillator to Jones’ chest and it “showed no shocks advised,” the report said.

When the Akron Fire Department arrived, emergency workers began resuscitation. Jones was taken to Cleveland Clinic Akron General, where he died the following day, the report said.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office determined Jones died from a lack of oxygen caused by cardiac arrest, the report said.

The medical examiner, however, never determined the manner of death — whether Jones’ passing was natural, an accident, homicide or something else.

It’s unlikely that either the restraint chair or spit mask contributed significantly to Jones’ death, the report said.

But there are questions over the use of one or more Tasers.

Inconsistent findings

Witnesses and records showed only one Taser was used on Jones the day he was restrained — and it was deployed to Jones’ leg, the medical examiner’s report said.

Yet an autopsy revealed no evidence to back that up. There were no Taser marks on Jones’ leg.

Instead, the medical examiner found three pairs of puncture marks on Jones’ chest that “strongly suggest Taser deployments,” the report said.

If more than one Taser was used on Jones’ chest at the same time, the report said, “the concern for cardiac capture would exist.” Cardiac capture refers to electrical stimuli interfering with a heart’s rhythm.

The medical examiner could not determine if that occurred or contributed to Jones’ cardiac arrest, however, because the investigation findings about Taser use conflicted with what the autopsy showed.

At the same time, the medical examiner pointed out in her report that Jones had “an intrinsic risk of sudden cardiac death” because of his schizophrenia. People diagnosed with schizophrenia have a higher frequency of such deaths, the report said.

The autopsy did appear to refute some inmate claims that guards stomped or kicked Jones in the head during the struggle to get him into a restraint chair. The report showed Jones suffered no brain bleeding, broken teeth or bones.

Records requested

The Beacon Journal/Ohio.com has pursued the investigation’s findings through the Summit County Sheriff’s Office since the investigation began.

Late last week, a spokeswoman for the Stark County Sheriff’s Department told a Beacon Journal reporter to expect about 800 pages of documents this week.

On Friday, Stark County Sheriff’s Maj. William Weirtz released 33 pages to a reporter.

When asked about the remaining 700-plus pages, Weirtz said the documents were all provided to his department by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

He said it was too time-consuming for his staff to sort through them and redact any information that may not be public information.

He also did not include digital copies of videotaped interviews with jail staff involved.

Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry was at a funeral Friday afternoon and not available for comment.

Outside examination

In the days after Jones’ death, Barry brought in Stark County investigators as an outside agency to examine what happened.

Early on, the report shows that Stark County investigators worked with a Summit County prosecutor who advised them to read deputies their rights under Miranda law before interviewing them about what happened to Jones.

The deputies declined to make sworn statements, the report said — instead offering to give investigators voluntary statements, which were later provided by a union representative in a summary report.

Whether investigators later interviewed all the deputies involved separately was not included in the report.

The head of the criminal division at the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office did not return a call Friday afternoon.

History of illness

Jones’ former wife, Brittany Huston, expressed frustration in the weeks after Jones’ death that she didn’t know what happened. The family has since hired Cleveland attorney Nick DiCello.

“It’s pretty clear Antony died a violent death … and it had to be pretty frightening for him in the throes of that kind of psychiatric problem,” DiCello said Friday.

It wasn’t clear if Jones’ family would sue Summit County. DiCello said Friday they were watching to see how Stark County prosecutors handle the case.

“I’ve just got more questions than answers,” DiCello said.

In the weeks leading up to Jones’ death, DiCello said, his mental illness “should have been recognized, addressed and dealt with accordingly.”

The medical examiner’s report shows that Jones, who lived in Akron, was not only diagnosed with schizophrenia, but also post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and other issues. He also had a history of abusing drugs and alcohol.

Jones was jailed Aug. 8 on charges of discharging a gun into or at a house and other drug and weapons charges.

He died 25 days later.

Amanda Garrett can be reached at 330-996-3725 or agarrett@thebeaconjournal.com.