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POLICE PROBE DEATH OF IRON COUNTY INMATE

Authorities are investigating the death of a Cedar City woman who died at the Iron County jail during the weekend.

Authorities say Jerri Lyn Hatch, 24, died at the jail after choking on her own vomit.Hatch's husband, Max, said he believes her death could have been prevented had authorities kept a closer eye on his wife, who was placed under suicide watch at the jail.

But Iron County attorney Scott Burns said officers did everything possible.

"My opinion is that everyone acted with the highest degree of professionalism and exercised great care in trying to insure Hatch's safety," he said.

Burns said the incident started last Saturday when police were dispatched at on a disturbance call to Hatch's home.

Burns said Hatch was on probation for distribution of methamphetamine.

When police arrived at the house, Hatch was highly intoxicated, combative and threatened suicide, he said.

Burns said Hatch told officers she had taken a controlled substance and consumed a large amount of Vodka.

Officers took the woman to the Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City where her blood alcohol level was measured at three times the legal limit.

Burns said Hatch was then taken to the Dixie Medical Center, in Saint George, but the center was full.

From there, officers and a mental health therapist transported Hatch to the jail.

Burns said officers checked on Hatch several times but found her dead about 3 a.m.