The Suffolk County sheriff has defended the safety record of the jail where the man accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist committed suicide.
Philip Markoff was found dead in his cell at Boston's Nashua Street jail Sunday as he awaited trial in the 2009 killing of Julissa Brisman of New York City. Authorities said the 24-year-old former medical student made a scalpel from a pen and a piece of metal and inflicted wounds in his neck, arms, wrists and ankles, and covered his head with a plastic bag.
At a news conference Wednesday, Sheriff Andrea Cabral refused to answer specific questions about the investigation of Markoff's suicide, but said the jail has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country. In the last eight years, she said, five inmates have committed suicide, including Markoff.
Cabral also explained that officers making night rounds are expected to determine two things when looking in on inmates:
"One, that the person who's under the blanket is the inmate, and two, if the inmate is asleep, they're not required to wake the inmate up or bang on the door, so you look for signs of respiration or signs of life," she said.
This program aired on August 18, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.