Crime & Courts

Man dies at Juneau correctional facility in Alaska’s third in-custody death in a month

A 27-year-old man found unresponsive in his cell at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on Saturday was declared dead on Sunday after being jailed early this month, authorities say.

Three people have died in custody in Alaska so far this year, all of them in about a month.

Mark Cook was remanded to Lemon Creek on April 3, according to Alaska Department of Corrections spokesperson Betsy Holley. Cook was unsentenced and jailed on charges of third-degree assault, violating conditions of release and petition to revoke probation, Holley said.

Alaska State Troopers said they were notified on Saturday just before 4:45 p.m. and found Cook hanging in his cell and immediately began life-saving efforts. Medics transported him to a Juneau hospital for advanced medical treatment, troopers said. He was declared dead the next day.

Troopers said there was no evidence of foul play but Cook’s death will be investigated.

He is the second person to die in custody in Alaska this month. Jay Allen Stevens, 60, was pronounced dead on April 12 of natural causes after being most recently housed at Anchorage Correctional Complex, the state correctional department said. Stevens was remanded in mid-March and was unsentenced on federal charges, state officials said.

William Floyd Miller, 63, was pronounced dead on March 26 after most recently being housed at Goose Creek Correctional Center, state correctional officials said. Miller, who died of natural causes, was originally imprisoned in 1986 after being convicted of murder and burglary.