Another inmate death at Fourth Avenue Jail

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Another inmate has died behind bars at the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix.

Raymond Manuel Farinas, 40, was arrested and booked into the jail on June 3. He had posted bail and was waiting to be released.

Family members said Farinas had spent 22 years in prison for armed robbery but was trying to turn his life around. He recently graduated from the Arizona Automotive Institute and was continuing on to earn his associate degree.

"My son wanted to live a normal life," said his mother, Carmen Ramirez. "That’s why he had gotten himself into school and was doing everything he could."

Ramirez said her son called her on June 3 and asked her to post his $1,000 bond, which she immediately paid. Then she said she repeatedly called the jail for information on her son's release.

"We called the number and we called the number and we called the number and they never released him," Ramirez said.

Later that evening, two Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrived at her Phoenix home.

"I said, 'What is wrong with my son?' Ramirez recalled. "And they said, 'That’s what I’m trying to tell you.' I said, 'What are you trying to tell me?' They said,' Ma’am your son died.'"

A letter from the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner lists Farinas' cause of death as "pending" until an investigation is complete.

Ramirez said she was told that her son choked on a peanut butter sandwich, but she said he never would have eaten peanut butter.

"My son never ate peanut butter, he was allergic," she said.

Ramirez claims when she was allowed to see her son's body, it was covered in bruises.

"He was all bruised like they had taken him and beaten him with something," she said. "He had a cut on his forehead."

A Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said an investigation was pending and told 3TV a statement would be sent to the station, but so far it has not been sent.

This story comes just days after an announcement that MCSO is facing a lawsuit after Ernest Atencio died at the Fourth Avenue Jail after an altercation with police officers.