Inquest: Coroner's jury finds San Ramon man's death in jail was accident

Karthik Kandaswamy died after being found unresponsive while in Martinez Detention Facility last year

A Contra Costa County coroner's inquest jury determined the death of a 26-year-old San Ramon man in the county jail last year was an accident, sheriff's officials announced on Thursday.

It was nearly one year ago -- Nov. 3 -- that 26-year-old Karthik Kandaswamy was found unresponsive from a “medical situation” while in a holding room just before 11:30 p.m. at the Martinez Detention Facility, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities have remained tight lipped about the actual nature of Kandaswarmy’s death, simply saying that he was “found unresponsive” and died at the scene after life-saving procedures were attempted.

In a statement released shortly after Kandaswamy’s death, sheriff’s officials said the man was arrested earlier in the day on Nov. 3 on suspicion of battery and resisting arrest.

As a routine part of an investigation, Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston will call a coroner's inquest when a person dies and law enforcement is involved.

When an inquest is called the jury is tasked with declaring the death a result of one of four categories: accident, suicide, natural causes, or at the hands of another person, other than by accident.

The jury considered testimony of witnesses called by hearing officer Matthew Guichard and reached its verdict at the courthouse in Martinez last week.

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