State and local officials are trying to determine the cause of death for an inmate found dead in his cell at the Poweshiek County jail early this morning. Sheriff Tom Sheets reports that when jail staffers were conducting their hourly check on inmates at about 1:00 A.M., it was discovered that 35-year old Jerris Bernarde Martin was unresponsive with no pulse.

Montezuma Ambulance was called and it was determined that Martin was dead upon arrival. Martin was serving time in the Poweshiek County Jail on a “work release” status — meaning he was able to go to and from his regular employment and then is required to return to jail when not scheduled to work.

By Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell