Contra Costa sheriff's deputies find inmate hanging dead in jail cell

Contra Costa County authorities are investigating the death of a detainee at the Martinez Detention Facility on Tuesday afternoon.

Kent Hickey, 54, of Martinez, was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell by a deputy at 4:25 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a statement from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, Hickey was arrested by sheriff's deputies at 10:32 p.m. Monday for having a bench warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and possession of a controlled substance for sale. The bench warrant, with $50,000 bail and a mandatory court appearance, was issued pursuant to a Concord Police Department investigation.

Hickey appeared in court Tuesday, after which he was taken to a room at the detention facility at 3:49 p.m. Authorities said a deputy checked on him at 4:03 PM. During another room check at 4:25 p.m., the deputy found Hickey hanging from a bedsheet.

Deputies and jail medical staff performed life-saving measures with fire and ambulance personnel also responding. Hickey was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information on the case is asked to contact Sheriff's Office investigators at (925) 313-2600 or sheriff's office dispatch at (925) 646-2441. Tips can be emailed to or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.