2 deaths at Kitsap jail ‘isolated’ medical emergencies

An investigation is underway following the death of an inmate being booked into the Kitsap County Jail.

Around 11 p.m. Aug. 6, a corrections officer noticed a 58-year-old man in booking appeared to be in medical distress, a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post states.

Penelope Sapp, jail chief, said in an interview Aug. 11 that security checks in booking are run at least every 30 minutes, with officers often present at other times. “In the event of an emergency, anyone can knock or raise their voice to get an officer’s attention,” she said.

Jail medical staff responded, and corrections officers and medical staff immediately began CPR until medical aid arrived, but the man had died.

Sapp indicated that staff acted as it should in this “isolated” scenario. “The response time is immediate. Once staff recognizes there is a problem. Several staff can respond to the location in less than two minutes. Corrections staff are trained in CPR and can begin lifesaving measures before any nursing staff arrive, but medical is less than two minutes out.”

Port Orchard police were called and will conduct an independent investigation. The body was taken to the coroner’s office and was identified as Karl Kannekkeburg of Port Orchard. An autopsy was done by Kitsap’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Lindsey Harle, and revealed no immediately identifiable cause of death as it’s pending return of toxicology and further investigation. Kannekkeburg had been arrested for Assault 4 domestic violence.

It was the second death at the jail in a month.

An inmate scheduled to be released from the jail July 3 was found dead in her room. The 46-year-old woman had been arrested by Bremerton police June 30, also on a charge of fourth-degree assault domestic violence, a sheriff’s news release says. The woman was identified as Rhonda McKelvy, who died from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, the county coroner said. Other inmates found her unresponsive, and jail staff tried to revive her with CPR.

Sapp said there are often underlying conditions with suspects that cannot be seen at the station. “Our medical provider does a thorough medical intake to discover medical needs, but in some cases, such as the last two, not all medical conditions are identifiable,” she said.

Asked if cameras are used inside cells to monitor for medical emergencies Sapp said, “Cameras are not placed in the housing cells for privacy reasons.”