OLMSTED COUNTY, Minn. (FOX 9) - A 59-year-old detainee at the Olmsted County Jail was found dead in his cell Monday morning.
The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy found Russell James Simon Jr., 59, not breathing during a routine well-being check around 5 a.m.
Authorities tried to resuscitate Simon, but he died at the scene. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, according to the sheriff’s office.
Simon was in custody on charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and making terroristic threats after he allegedly put a woman in a choke hold and threatened her with a butcher knife. His pre-trial hearing was scheduled for February.
According to court records, Simon had a lengthy criminal record. In 1987, he was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for second-degree assault and first-degree burglary.
In 2008, Simon was convicted of being an ineligible person in possession of a weapon and two counts each of assault and attempted murder in the second degree. He was sentenced to serve 20 years in the St. Cloud correction facility.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating Simon’s death. No detention deputies are on administrative leave, according to the sheriff’s office.