Three deaths in one month at Allegheny County Jail

By Brittany Hailer

Three incarcerated persons have died so far in September in Allegheny County Jail custody.

The most recent was Justin Brady, 38, who died on September 23 after he was transported from the jail to a hospital, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

Brady entered the jail on September 17 and was arraigned, according to an email from jail administrators to the Jail Oversight Board (JOB), which was obtained by the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (PINJ).

“While still in intake on the morning of September 18, he advised medical that he was detoxing from multiple drugs. As a result, he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He did not return to the facility,” jail administrators wrote to the JOB in the email. No other information is available at this time about Brady’s death.

Another incarcerated individual, Vinckley Harris, 48, died on September 20 after he “became unresponsive at ACJ” and was transported to UPMC Mercy, according to an email response from the Allegheny Medical Examiner’s office.

On September 12, the Allegheny County Jail announced that a 48-year-old COVID-19 positive man died at a hospital. The county reported in a press release: “The individual had been hospitalized since late August and was unvaccinated. He also [had] additional medical risk factors.”

The three September deaths bring the total to nine incarcerated persons who have died in jail custody since April 2020, shortly after the jail was placed on lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Warden Orlando Harper and county spokesperson Amie Downs could not be immediately reached for comment about the September deaths.

Justin Brady is the second member of his family to die while in the custody of the county jail.

His first cousin, John Brady, 40, was found unresponsive at the county jail in November 2020 and rushed to UPMC Mercy as previously reported by PINJ in July. Ten days after his transfer to Mercy, John Brady’s mother signed papers to take her son off life support. John Brady died six hours after being taken off a ventilator at Mercy Hospital.

Here is the list of Allegheny County Jail incarcerated persons who have died since April 2020:

Richard Lenhart, 49, April 2020

Robert Blake, 36, May 2020

Cody Still, 29, October 2020

Daniel Pastorek, 63, November 2020

John Brady, 40, November 2020

Martin Bucek, 55, July 2021

Unknown, 48, September 2021

Vinckley Harris, 48, September 2021

Justin Brady, 38, September 2021

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