Friday, August 07, 2020 Elyria 71°

Local News

Inmate who attempted suicide remains in hospital

  • Manilla-MUG-jpg

ELYRIA — A Lorain County Jail inmate who tried to commit suicide Friday remained unconscious and hospitalized Saturday.

Jail Administrator Andy Laubenthal said Zachary Manilla, who is awaiting trial on murder and felonious assault charges for allegedly stabbing his mother to death in August, was in critical condition at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center.

Manilla, 26, used a piece of bedding from his room in the special-needs pod at the jail to try to strangle himself. Laubenthal said Manilla didn’t hang himself but had run the bedding between points in the room in a way that allowed him to choke himself.

Manilla wasn’t on suicide watch at the time of the incident, which remains under investigation, but was on suicide watch when he was first booked into the jail over the summer, Laubenthal said. After a period of time had passed jail staff made the determination that it was safe to take him off suicide watch, although Manilla remained in the special needs pods because of his mental health issues.

Laubenthal said Manilla was alone in his cell at the time of the incident and was discovered by a jail employee and life-saving measures were employed.

Manilla pleaded not guilty to the charges against him at his arraignment earlier this year, although his attorney has said in the past that he might enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on his client’s behalf.

Court records show that Manilla has had previous suicide attempts and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has been hospitalized for mental health issues several times in recent years and has a history of going off his medication when he is released from a medical setting.

Manilla also was described as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he went missing last year, according to Lorain police.

His grandfather had been named his guardian roughly two weeks before Manilla allegedly stabbed 51-year-old Kimberly Manilla in the backyard of her daughter’s Concord Drive home. Zachary Manilla had been staying in the garage of the home with his sister’s permission, police have said.

Police were called to the home about noon Aug. 21 and found Kimberly Manilla bleeding from multiple stab wounds. She was later pronounced dead at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain.

Investigators have not released a motive for why Zachary Manilla allegedly attacked his mother, who had gone to the house with her boyfriend to check animal traps on the property.

Officers have said they have recovered what they believe to be the murder weapon and that Manilla admitted to killing his mother.

A guard is posted at the hospital with Manilla because he remains a prisoner despite his hospitalization, Laubenthal said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

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