Prisoner Dies Waiting to See Judge

AUGUST 15, 2006 - Posted at 7:52 a.m. CDT

BENTONVILLE, AR - Benton County authorities say a jail inmate died yesterday morning as he waited for a scheduled court appearance at the county courthouse.

Felemon Perez Ybarbo, 59, was seated in a wheelchair in the Courtroom of Circuit Judge Tom Keith when he was discovered to be without a pulse and not breathing.  He was taken to Northwest Medical Center of Benton County in Bentonville, where he was pronounced dead.

Benton County prosecutor Robin Green says state police are investigating Ybarbo's death, as is standard when someone dies while in police custody.

Ybarbo was arrested December 1, 2004, and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, failure to appear, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He was released on bond but re-arrested July 31 after he failed to appear at a June hearing.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)