Inmate Declared Brain Dead After Suicide Attempt At Dona Ana County Detention Center

Aug 3, 2013


  A Doña Ana County Detention Center inmate attempted suicide Friday by hanging himself from a metal hook, using a piece of his uniform as a noose. He was cut down by officers on duty who performed CPR until EMT crews arrived, but he later was declared brain dead at an El Paso hospital.

   Daniel J. Leyva, 27, was being held on a felony charge of non-residential burglary. He had been indicted by a Las Cruces grand jury for having allegedly burglarized the Welcome Inn Café on April 16.

   According to incident reports, Leyva was seen by an officer on patrol sitting at a desk in his cell at about 12:54 p.m. Friday. At approximately 12:58 p.m., the same officer passed by Leyva’s cell again and saw him hanging by the neck. The officer sounded a radio alert and entered the cell to lift Leyva and relieve the pressure on his neck.

   Other officers arrived to assist at about 1:02 p.m., at which time Leyva was cut loose and placed on the floor, where CPR was performed. By 1:13 p.m., Las Cruces Fire Department EMTs and Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office deputies had arrived.

   Leyva was transported by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center, and he was then airlifted to University Medical Center in El Paso, where he was declared brain dead.

   The family has been notified and will make determinations about whether Leyva will be disconnected from life support.