Man used bed sheet to commit suicide at Cook County Jail: sheriff’s office

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Thousands of ex-offenders return to Chicago every year after completing their sentences, but the transition back to society can be difficult. | Sun-Times file photo

A 23-year-old man was found dead early Monday at the Cook County Jail after he used a bed sheet to hang himself, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Richard Smith was pronounced dead at 4:35 a.m. after being found in his cell in Division 9 of the jail, located at 2834 W. 31st St., according to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

His death was ruled a suicide following an examination Tuesday, the medical examiner’s office said.

Smith, who lived in Gary, Indiana, was charged with the robberies of two women in separate 2016 incidents the Loop, according to authorities.

He was ordered held without bail at a hearing Dec. 5, 2017, according to Cook County court records.

Richard Smith | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Richard Smith | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

In August 2017, he also began a nine-year sentence in the at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Indiana after being convicted of robbery, according to Indiana Department of Corrections records.

The death will be investigated by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force.

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