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MailTribune.com
  • Robbery suspect dies after apparently hanging himself

    Kyle Louis Mellon, 19, was found by deputies during routine check
  • The suspect in a Central Point 7-Eleven armed robbery in March died Monday after apparently hanging himself while incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail, officials said.
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  • The suspect in a Central Point 7-Eleven armed robbery in March died Monday after apparently hanging himself while incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail, officials said.
    Kyle Louis Mellon, 19, of Medford, was discovered by jail staff members while they were performing a routine check of the cells, Jackson County sheriff's Capt. Monty Holloway said.
    Jail deputies performed CPR on Mellon for about 11 minutes before he was loaded on a Mercy Flights ambulance and taken to Providence Medford Medical Center.
    Mellon was placed on life support after he was pronounced brain dead, officials said.
    He remained on life support Wednesday so that his organs could be donated, Holloway said.
    Mellon was lodged in the jail's general population when the reported suicide occurred, Holloway said.
    "He had not made any suicidal statements or intentions upon his initial screening," Holloway said.
    Inmates are asked questions about their psychological and emotional health before being lodged in a cell, Holloway said.
    If an inmate makes suicidal statements, he or she is placed on a close watch until a mental health expert can respond, Holloway said.
    Cells in the general population area are checked periodically throughout the night by a jail deputy, Holloway said.
    The jail's holding pods contain several inmates, but the pods are fitted with individual cells. No inmate reported seeing Mellon attempt to kill himself, Holloway said.
    The multiagency Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit is investigating the case, officials said.
    An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, Holloway said.
    Mellon was jailed on a first-degree robbery charge for his alleged part in an armed robbery that happened in March.
    Mellon and Dylan James Sites, 18, reportedly entered the 7-Eleven on March 21 and demanded cash from the clerk. They then sped away in a sport utility vehicle and were later apprehended by Central Point police, officials said.
    On Tuesday, Sites appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court to plead guilty to second-degree robbery. His first-degree robbery charge was dropped if he agreed to testify against Mellon, Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Nicholas Geil said.
    "Sites was just the lookout in this case," Geil said. "Mellon was the gunman."
    Sites received five years of supervised probation, but stands to return to prison if he commits another crime or violates his probation, Geil said.
    Mellon was lodged on an additional charge for failing to register as a sex offender, which was part of an earlier conviction.
    Holloway praised the actions of the jail deputies the night Mellon was discovered in the cell.
    "They did what they were trained to do and didn't hesitate to try and save his life," Holloway said.
    The agency will now look to see whether the proper jail protocols were followed the night Mellon died, Holloway said.
    The sheriff's office is being sued by the family of another inmate who reportedly committed suicide while incarcerated.
    The wrongful death complaint filed by the family of Benjamin Michael Fager, who died in custody in 2011, remains an open case, according to court records.
    Fager, 33, reportedly hanged himself after he was arrested on a first-degree sex abuse charge. The complaint alleges that he was suicidal and was not properly watched by jail staff.
    Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.
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