Montgomery County

2 Inmates Dead in 6 Hours Inside Montgomery County Correctional Facility

Thirty inmates of the jail have died in the last 11 years.

Two middle-aged inmates at Montgomery County Correctional Facility died six hours apart Friday, county officials said.

Donald Levengood, 54, died at 2:15 p.m. and Michael Lennon, 52, died at 8:16 p.m. Autopsies performed by the county coroner's office concluded that Levengood died of a pulmonary embolism and Lennon died of suicide.

They are the 29th and 30th inmates of the county facility in Eagleville to die since the beginning of 2007. NBC10 reported last year that 25 inmate deaths occurred from 2007 through the end of 2016, when Dr. David Kennedy died in custody Dec. 18 of that year.

The cause of Kennedy's death was never determined.

Following his death, three other inmates died in custody in 2017, a spokesman for the coroner's office said Tuesday.

Daniel Eaton died Sept. 17, Terrence Taylor died Oct. 28, and Jamison Bockman died Dec. 9. Eaton and Bockman died by suicide, Deputy Coroner Alex Balacki said. The cause in both cases was hanging.

Taylor's death remains under investigation, Balacki said. He was 23 and jailed on a probation violation stemming from a marijuana possession conviction, according to online court records.

Levengood, of Tyrone, Blair County, was in jail on a probation violation and awaiting a hearing, according to court records. He was found guilty in 2015 for indecent assault of a minor and corruption of a minor. He was registered as a sex offender. It is unclear how he violated probation.

"Mr. Levengood was in an area near his housing section at 1:23 p.m. when he contacted a correctional officer and stated he was having breathing problems," county spokeswoman Kaitlyn Foti said in an email. "As the CO began to escort him to the medical department, Mr. Levengood grabbed his chest and fainted. An LPN was in the immediate area and began chest compressions."

Foti said an ambulance unit arrived and continued medical care until 2:15 p.m., when Levengood was pronounced dead.

Lennon, whose address was not released, was arrested July 9, 2017 in Lower Moreland and charged with trafficking in minors, promoting prostitution, sexual exploitation of children and other charges.

Court records indicate a county judge was expected to issue an update in his case March 5.

Foti said he died in his cell by hanging. A medical emergency was called at 7:57 p.m. Jail staff initiated life-saving measures until an ambulance unit arrived at 8:07 p.m. and Lennon was pronounced dead nine minutes later.

The jail, which houses suspects awaiting trials and offenders convicted of crimes who generally are serving less than a year, has an average annual population of 11,000 inmates. The wife of one of the inmates to die in custody sued Montgomery County for in excess of $175,000, according to an online news report. David Minnich was awaiting charges of aggravated indecent assault of a child when he died Dec. 20, 2012 by hanging himself in his cell.

Federal court records indicate a settlement was reached, but the amount was sealed. 

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