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Unattended death at city jail probed

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New Mexico State Police is investigating the unattended death of a Hobbs resident who died at the Hobbs City Jail early Sunday morning after being arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges.

On Monday, Hobbs Police Department announced officers were dispatched around 2:50 a.m. Sunday to the city jail, 301 N. Dalmont, after Jaime Rendon, 29, was reportedly found “unresponsive” during routine checks. He was arrested Saturday after Hobbs police responded around 2:05 p.m. to a gunshot victim at Lea Regional Medical Center, where Rendon reported an unknown person shot him.

Police investigators learned the wound was “likely self-inflicted” and recovered a .22-caliber revolver inside a vehicle he arrived in, as well as a holster in a trashcan in the hospital room where Rendon sought treatment, according to Hobbs police.

“While conducting the investigation into the cause of Rendon’s wounds, he produced and attempted to break a methamphetamine smoking pipe,” the department stated. “Simultaneously, he attempted to chew/swallow unknown narcotics.” The hospital “treated and released” Rendon before his transport to the city jail. EMS personnel arrived after Rendon was found unresponsive and he was pronounced dead.

Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall said Monday the investigation is “still ongoing.” “It’s now being investigated by the state police,” he said.

A NMSP public information officer did not respond to an information request regarding the investigation’s status, as of press time Monday.

Rendon was booked on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence, both fourth-degree felonies; tampering with evidence, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors; and possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, a petty misdemeanor.

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