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Mass. inmate found dead in cell on birthday

Correctional officers and medical staff performed “lifesaving measures” but he was pronounced dead at hospital

By Cynthia McCormick
Cape Cod Times

BOURNE — The state police and Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death this morning of an inmate found unresponsive on his 31st birthday.

A correctional officer discovered John P. Shannon in his cell at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility at 6:08 a.m. according to a statement from Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings.

Correctional officers and medical staff performed “lifesaving measures,” Cummings’ release said. Bourne Fire and Rescue took Shannon by ambulance to Falmouth Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Shannon was being held without bail out of Barnstable District Court at the time of his death, Cummings said.

The statement did not give any details about the circumstances of the death but said the state police unit assigned to the Cape and Island’s District Attorney’s Office is investigating with the help of the sheriff’s office.
Shannon was born in Brighton and gave his address as 278 Main St., Hyannis, according to the statement.

That is the address of the Baybridge Clubhouse for clients of the state Department of Mental Health.

A staff member at Baybridge who did not want to give his name said that although people do not live at the clubhouse, some clients are allowed to have mailboxes there.

He said he had not seen Shannon in months but had heard he was in jail.

When Shannon spent time at Baybridge, he would help out with the snack bar, in the kitchen and with computer work, the man said.

“He was very respectful and a very nice guy.”

Baybridge Clubhouse provides opportunities to socialize and get job experience for people with mental illness.

Shannon has experienced several run-ins with the law in recent years. He served jail time on assault-and-battery charges and was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana and larceny.
But that’s not how Baybridge members remember Shannon, the Baybridge staff member said.

“He was a great kid,” the man said. “He was going through his personal stuff, like all the members.”

Copyright 2014 the Cape Cod Times

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