An incarcerated man died in the Allegheny County Jail Thursday, marking third death this year

By Brittany Hailer

Jerry Lee Ross Jr., 48, died at the Allegheny County Jail Thursday, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner. This death is the third to occur this year and the 14th since the onset of the COVID pandemic. 

No details were given about the individual’s medical emergency. CPR was conducted by employees at the jail and he was declared dead by a medical provider at the jail, according to an email from jail spokesperson Jesse Geleynse. 

County police are currently on the scene and are conducting an investigation, according to Geleynse’s email. Identification of the incarcerated individual will be released publicly by the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner according to its protocols, Geleynse said.

Because the individual did not have an emergency contact listed for his most recent incarceration, Geleynse wrote, jail officials checked records from previous incarcerations and made notification to the family today.

The Jail Oversight Board was notified by Warden Orlando Harper last night, and Gelynse wrote in an email that “no additional information will be made available.”

The previous two deaths this year were: 

Paul Spisak, 77, who died Jan 30 in a hospital after the court released him from Allegheny County Jail custody following an incident that left him unresponsive in his cell on Jan. 22.  

The jail has not clarified what incident resulted in Spisak’s condition.

Gerald Thomas, 26, who died in March at UPMC Mercy where he was taken after suffering a medical emergency in the jail. 

Brittany Hailer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BrittanyHailer.

This story was updated to include the name of the deceased.