Robbery suspect dies in police custody
Updated On: Jun 17 2014 11:36:44 AM CDT
A man suspected in the May 27th robbery of a Walgreen drug store in Blackfoot died in custody at the Blaine County jail in Hailey.
In a news release, the Bingham County Sheriff's office and Blackfoot Police Joint Detective Unit said detectives arrested Mitchel Wayne Christensen, 23, of Buhl in Blaine county on an unrelated arrest warrant.
Blackfoot Police Captain Scott Gay said the Blackfoot/Bingham County Joint Detective Unit questioned Christensen last week. They obtained a warrant for his arrest last Friday. The warrant carried a million dollar bond.
But, Gay said that warrant was quashed Saturday after Christensen's death.
Christensen was arrested in Twin Falls on a Blaine County warrant last Thursday then booked into the Blaine County jail.
Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Christensen left his jail cell at around 9 p.m.. Friday and walked to a railing above the jail mezzanine . When deputies entered, Christensen jumped off the rail to the cement floor about 13 feet below. Deputies administered CPR until he was transported to St. Luke's in Ketchum. He was subsequently air-lifted to St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise. Christensen was pronounced dead at noon Saturday.
Ramsey said Christensen was arrested last fall for grand theft at a local convenience store. He was sentenced to jail, but won a furlough to attend a drug rehabilitation program in Gooding. During that furlough, Ramsey believes Christensen was involved in numerous burglaries and robberies in Oregon, Utah and southern Idaho. Police believe those crimes included the Walgreen's robbery in Blackfoot.
The Blackfoot Police Department said it is still seeking to identify additional suspects involved in that robbery.
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