Cook County Jail detainee dies after testing positive for COVID-19

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CHICAGO — A detainee at the Cook County Jail has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Jeffery Pendleton, 59, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital Sunday, according to a statement from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Pendleton was hospitalized March 30 after testing positive for the virus

“The official cause of death is pending autopsy, but preliminary reports indicate Pendleton died as the result of complications due to the virus,” the statement said.

If confirmed, Pendleton would be the first person in custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections to die of COVID-19.

Pendleton had been in jail since July 2018 on charges that included Armed Habitual Criminal, Armed Violence/Category II and other drug and weapons possession offenses. Pendleton had 15 previous convictions and was required to register as a sex offender following a 1997 conviction for Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault for which he was sentenced to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said as of Sunday, 220 detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19 were being treated and monitored by medical professionals for mild-to-moderate symptoms at the jail.

Pendleton was one of 14 being treated and monitored at hospitals due to the virus.

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