Inmate was alone when he died

Sunday, January 6, 2008
Jonathan McClard spoke during an interview Dec. 26. McClard, 17, was found dead in his cell Friday. (Aaron Eisenhauer)

Jonathan McClard died alone in his prison cell, Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Hauswirth said Saturday.

The 17-year-old inmate was discovered in his single-person cell at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Mo., and pronounced dead around 3:50 p.m. Friday, according to a news release from the Department of Corrections.

McClard was scheduled to be transported to the maximum security Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Mo., sometime within the next week or so, Hauswirth said.

There, he was to serve the bulk of a 30-year sentence he received from Circuit Judge David Dolan after pleading guilty to first-degree assault.

McClard confessed to shooting another teenager, Jeremy Voshage, three times July 10 at a Jackson car wash.

On New Year's Day, McClard turned 17, rendering him eligible to join the general population at Charleston. Before his birthday, he had been serving his sentence at Northeastern Correctional Center in a separate juvenile facility.

He was taken to Bonne Terre, a transportation hub and intake facility for the Department of Corrections, until he could be moved to the facility at Charleston.

McClard expressed anxiety in an interview with the Southeast Missourian about joining the general population of inmates, particularly at a maximum-security facility, which he'd heard was "about the worst there is."

The death is under investigation by the inspector general's office, and the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office will perform the autopsy.

The Department of Corrections did not release any other details of McClard's death pending further investigation.

Visitation for McClard will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at CrossRoads Baptist Church in Jackson, followed by a memorial service at 7 p.m.

335-6611, extension 245

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