Blogs from January, 2015

Orange County police report that a domestic violence suspect was found in his cell around noon on January 2, 2015. The coroner’s office identified the man as 49-year-old Daniel Oppenheimer. He was arrested after a female called the La Habra Police Department at approximately 9:45 is on Friday, January 2, 2015, about a domestic dispute. When police arrived on the scene they placed Oppenheimer into custody.

Oppenheimer was found unconscious in his cell. Police began life-saving measures until the paramedics arrived. Upon their arrival, he was then transported to nearby St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton around 1:00 pm where he was pronounced dead. Police have said that Oppenheimer was left alone in his cell at the time of his hanging.

Dr. Alex Lickerman states that people generally commit suicide for six reasons:

  1. Depression – Depression is one of the more common reasons why people commit suicide.
  2. Psychosis – If they are having some psychotic symptoms. This is the most common I patients with schizophrenia.
  3. On impulse – In some instances on impulse when fueled by drugs or alcohol.
  4. A cry for help – As a cry for help when they do not know what else to do.
  5. Philosophical desire – Some people just have the desire to die
  6. Suicide by accident – As an example, someone that was playing around with oxygen deprivation but it ends up going too far.

Only time will tell in this case. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on Oppenheimer. The orange county police report that an autopsy could take weeks. A full investigation is being conducted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Investigations into possible causes for suicide may be derived from the investigation. Until that time, police are withholding further details about his arrest and the death of Oppenheimer.

Suicide while in custody is not common but not unheard of. In 2013 there weren’t any suicides in Orange County Jails. However, in 2011 and 2012, only one suicide was reported. In the last ten years, only 5 suicides have been reported in Orange County Jails while the neighboring Los Angeles County reported 5 last year alone.

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse World Health Organization and International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) has written a detailed manual dedicated to ending jailhouse suicides entitled, “Preventing Suicide in Jails and Prisons.” It outlines prisoners that may be at a higher risk for suicide and preventative measures that can be implemented in jails. These measures are used in Orange County jails as well as jails across the country to keep inmates from committing suicides. Despite every effort to keep inmates from hurting themselves, there are some instances when police remain helpless because they cannot be everywhere at the same time.

Those facing charges for domestic violence are encouraged to contact a domestic violence defense lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible. These charges can result in serious repercussions even when the defendant is not guilty. Call  to obtain a free domestic violence case evaluation from a skilled attorney today.