Aug 8, 2017

Jeremy Jenkins cause of death acute meth intoxication; EPD cleared

"On August 7, 2017, District Attorney Maggie Fleming completed her review of the circumstances surrounding the death of Jeremy Jenkins on April 2, 2016.  In conclusion, the District Attorney agreed with the pathologist’s report that EPD personnel did not contribute to the death of Mr. Jenkins. "

 Text of DA Maggie Fleming's letter to Chief Steve Watson posted below. It can also be found on the EPD Transparency Portal at

I have completed my review of the circumstances of the death of Mr. Jeremy Jenkins in April of last year.

The following summarizes the findings of this Office based upon review of all reports, audio and video recordings and medical/lab reports.

 I might note that all interactions between Mr. Jenkins and Eureka Police Department (EPD) officers - from the initial contact until he is taken into St. Joseph Hospital - were recorded by EPD.

 On April 2, 2016 at approximately 1:25 pm, a citizen called to report a “man down rolling around on the ground on the Spring Street side of the Winco parking lot” that the caller believed “needed a welfare check.”

 EPD dispatched an officer whose dashboard camera shows at 1:32 pm Mr. Jenkins on the sidewalk walking away from the patrol car. The officer exited his vehicle, walked to Mr. Jenkins, and began speaking with him. Video from the same patrol-car camera shows a second officer arriving on scene at 1:33. The first officer reported that Mr. Jenkins told him he had smoked “$40 of meth.” At 1:36 Mr. Jenkins is placed in the patrol car and transported to St. Joseph Hospital. A camera focused on the back seat of the patrol car shows Mr. Jenkins moving constantly. At 1:43 audio recording begins and Mr. Jenkins is saying, “I want to kill myself.” He is also panting.

The officer tells him they are almost there and to relax. At 1:44 when Mr. Jenkins repeats that he wants to kill himself, the officer responds that Mr. Jenkins does not mean that. Mr. Jenkins is also heard growling. At 1:45 they arrive at the hospital and the camera shows the officer opening the rear door and asking Mr. Jenkins if he can come out on his own or does he require help. After trying to help him out, the officer goes to the other side and opens that door. At 1:47 he slides Mr. Jenkins out and tells him to watch his head and the officer tries lifting Mr. Jenkins. At 1:48 the officer is heard saying he would appreciate help and hospital staff assist him in putting Mr. Jenkins into a wheelchair. At 1:49 medical staff assist in taking Mr. Jenkins into the hospital.

The officer’s body-worn microphone relays some audio from inside the hospital, but the audio is difficult to hear. At 2:02 the officer asks how Mr. Jenkins is doing; at 2:04 a male voice indicates to the officer that Mr. Jenkins’ medical problems have nothing to do with the officer. The officer responds he hopes he lives as he is a nice guy.

The officer then proceeds to gather names and exits the hospital at 2:06.

 An autopsy was performed on April 6, 2016. The forensic pathologist determined the cause of death to be “excited delirium” due to “acute methamphetamine intoxication.”

Analysis of blood drawn from Mr. Jenkins yielded a methamphetamine concentration of 7.78 mg/L. The lab report states that blood methamphetamine in the range of 0.2 - 5 mg/Lis potentially toxic. Thus, the level of methamphetamine in Mr. Jenkins’ blood exceeded the upper level known to be potentially toxic.

 The pathologist’s report states: “Considering the circumstances surrounding the decedent’s death, as I understand them at this time, the decedent exhibited delirium during his pre-hospital course, but became unconscious upon arriving in the hospital ER.

He never got into a physical altercation with police nor was he restrained except for being handcuffed, which he reportedly allowed without a struggle. He was not positioned in the patrol car in any way that would be detrimental to his ability to breathe.

Although not reportedly paranoid and psychotic he was certainly agitated and was rolling around on the ground rather than being catatonic. His internal temperature by bladder catheterization was recorded as 41.6 degrees C {106.8 degrees F).

 Police actions in arresting him and transporting him to the hospital are not considered to be contributory factors in his death.” I agree with the conclusion of the pathologist’s report that EPD personnel did not contribute to the death of Mr. Jenkins. I have notified the family of my determination and expressed to them my deepest regret for the loss of their son.


  1. I wonder what my meth levels have been in the past. In cases like this I always believe that there is more going on than just the meth. I mean, if we assume 5.5L of blood at the measured 7.78mg/L that's ~43mg which sure doesn't seem like much.

  2. Does it really matter? Sure seems like it doesn't.