Vermilion man dies at Erie County jail

(UPDATED WITH PDF, VIDEO) Another inmate has died at the Erie County jail, this time a 47-year-old man from Vermilion.
Emil Whitis
Feb 8, 2012

(UPDATED WITH PDF, VIDEO)  Another inmate has died at the Erie County jail, this time a 47-year-old man from Vermilion.

Corrections officers checked on Robert Baswell Jr. at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday and found him to be OK in his cell. Then at 2:50 a.m., he was found blue and unresponsive. Paramedics arrived at 3:05 a.m. and could not revive Baswell. He was pronounced dead.

Deputies say Baswell had a number of medical problems since being booked into the jail in October on charges of robbery, possessing criminal tools and theft.

After falling in the shower on Jan. 25, Baswell began to act erratically. Deputies took him to the hospital four times since then. His treatment included two CAT scans, one at NOMS and one at Firelands Regional Medical Center. Each time doctors said they found nothing that would warrant them admitting Baswell for treatment. He was released each time back to the jail.

Baswell's cause of death is pending an autopsy.

He is the second person to die in the jail in recent months. Margaret Stallard, 50, of Sandusky, was pronounced dead in her jail cell at about 9 a.m. Jan. 1, five hours after she was admitted to the facility.

Police arrested Stallard for disorderly conduct while intoxicated after responding to a vehicle break-in on Kevin Drive. Stallard came into the jail in a highly intoxicated state. While autopsy chemical tests are still pending, preliminary information seems to point to a combination of alcohol and pills as the cause of Stallard's death.

Read more about this story in Wednesday's Register. Also, click on the PDF below to read the jail reports detailing Baswell's medical treatment and Tuesday's death.


Richard Cranium

Maybe he should've obeyed the law and not got arrested.


Why did it take 15 minutes for a squad to arrive? That is an awful long time with the squad just up the street.

my oh my

With the subject experiencing the classic textbook signs and symptoms of a headbleed here ie. decorticate posturing by pulling his arms towards his midline and also the decebrate posturing by stiffening his body up a few days before the death.One has to question the negligence issue here on behalf of ECSO and also call into question the response time and scene time of PTFD EMS personnel.Now I don't condone the criminal acts that may have lead this subject to jail but he should be treated equally and fairly.With the aspect of him being in the custody of ECSO Erie County is the responsibly party here for the care and bills and such.This case needs to be reviewed thouroughly and accurately especially being the second death in there in a month.Also FRMC and NOMS needs to be looked at as well....


CT scans do NOT always pick up the bleeding.  An MRI would have been more effective, especially since he returned several times.    My point was, and it was entirely missed, that he should have been ADMITTED AND WATCHED. But the ER doctors failed to do so. 

Truth or Dare nailed it....this is EXACTLY like what happened to Liam's wife and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this is not the same thing,especially given what they stated were his actions upon returning to the jail.

I commend the police for having the good sense to return him to the hospital. 

You bet I won't go back to Firelands.  I do not trust them from BAD EXPERIENCES I HAVE HAD FIRST HAND,   Yeah, I fear them.  Death of a family member because of a missed diagnosis, wrong medications, too many mistakes.  Congratulations to those who haven't suffered at their hands.

I realize that I am but one person, but I know many who have stopped going there because of bad treatment. They now go to other hospital like I do.  It takes some time to get to Norwalk, but we feel safer, and that it worth everything to me and my family, as it does to the other who go there and to Port Clinton. 

I don't think the SR is saying anything bad about the police OR the hospital.  They are simply stating what happened, nothing more.  But most people read more into a story than is really stated.  

I, like many, are "guessing" about what happened to this man.    I base mine on 39 years in the medical field.  But I will tell you this.  

The comments here are ALL speculations and none of us really knows what happened.  We won't know unless the SR prints or gives us the autopsy results and they are pretty good about following up on stories.   




Scans do not always indicate abnormal readings and usually require another follow up weeks, even months, after an injury.  There are several possibilities in the death of the inmate. The injury may have lead to a stoke or a seizure that caused his death.  A injury depending on the location can cause other medical issues with various organs or systems. The dye from the CT scan could have caused his kidneys to fail in the event that he already had poor kidney health.  He seemed to have been suffering from symptoms related to dimentia upon entering the ECJ which could suggest other failing systems.  There are endless possibilities.... 

The opinion that SR is suggesting that the public outcry should be poor procedure by staff at  ECSD is unfounded.  The video, the written article, and the reports provided by CO at the jail do not suggest any likelihood of such. 

Suspicions or curiosity as to why the inmate was checked twice in a few minutes is addressed in the report by that CO and explains that he went back after completing routine checks of all areas to reposition the inmate to a supine position on his mat.  A great deal of empathy seems to have been given to the inmate including helping to dress and feed him. 

Julie R.

I haven't read all the comments on this so I don't know if anybody mentioned it --- but wasn't this guy on the front page of that CUFFED IN ERIE COUNTY paper? I didn't buy the paper but I remember the picture. Nevertheless, I don't think anybody deserves to die in jail. Sounds like some negligence on the hospital's part.


No, he didn't nail it & it wasn't the same as what happened to Liam Neeson's wife. The guy had a blood clot in his leg that broke free. He didn't have a brain bleed.