Decatur man's death inside the Macon County Jail declared an accident


The death of a Decatur man, who was found unresponsive while in federal custody in the Macon County jail this Summer, has been ruled an accident. On Monday a coroner's jury declared Michael Carter's death an accident. The 35-year-old died as a result of a complication of diabetes, according to an autopsy.

Carter was brought into the jail July 13th and later sent to the jail's medical pod. According to reports, he remained in the medical unit until the morning of July 18, when he was temporarily returned to the general population as medical personnel prepared to send him to a hospital. According to testimony, Carter was among the federal inmates, but was originally slated to be taken by regular inmate transport to a local hospital. However, because he was a large man, it was decided to take him by ambulance at a later time. As a nurse at the jail talked with a doctor on the phone, taking steps toward transporting Carter to the hospital, he was taken to a new cell, where he went into medical distress and was later found unresponsive. He was taken by ambulance to Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m.

The coroner's jury concluded that jail medical personnel were aware that Carter was diabetic, and administered medication to control his blood sugar. Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider said he immediately contact the Illinois State Police to conduct an investigation into Carter's death to determine whether Carter had been violently assaulted or involved in an altercation. 

The autopsy, performed at the McLean County Morgue, showed that Carter died as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, due to an underlying condition of diabetes. The condition develops when the body does not produce enough insulin.

Carter was taken into federal custody in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and faced charges of attempted distribution of cocaine and discharge of a firearm. According to a criminal complaint,  Carter was selling kilograms of cocaine in Decatur, with wholesale value of $35,000 each. During a transaction, he allegedly shot a a man with a .40-caliber handgun near East William Street and 23rd Place on July 21, 2013. In January, Carter's accomplice during this transaction was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

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