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Former Ellsworth resident dies in Buffalo County Jail

A former Ellsworth resident died Feb. 3 in the Buffalo County Jail at Alma.

Buffalo County Sheriff Michael Schmidtknecht said in a news release jail staff was doing a routine check of inmates when they found Kelly D. Johnson, 21, unresponsive in his cell from an apparent suicide attempt. Staff members provided first aid until EMS arrived on scene.

Johnson was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Wabasha, Minn., by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

The Olmstead County (Minn.) medical examiner is conducting the autopsy and Schmidtknecht said last Friday his office is yet to get results. The sheriff’s office is reviewing the incident. The Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections are reviewing Buffalo County’s policies and procedures, which Schmidtknecht said could take several weeks.

Court records show Johnson lived in Baldwin and Arcadia within the last year, besides Ellsworth.

Johnson was in Buffalo County Jail on a probation hold. On-line court records show Johnson pled guilty to traffic violation and drug offenses over the last two years.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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