BCA investigating inmate death in Olmsted County

The man was found not breathing during a Monday morning well-being check. The man died despite life saving efforts.

Russell James Simon Jr.
Russell James Simon Jr.
Contributed / Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

ROCHESTER — A 59-year-old man died Monday, Jan. 16, in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, according to a news release from Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson.

Russell James Simon Jr. was found not breathing by a detention deputy around 5 a.m. Monday during a well-being check and resuscitation efforts were not effective, according to Torgerson. Mayo Clinic Ambulance was called to the detention center to assist.

Simon was being held on assault charges and a Minnesota Department of Corrections hold.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has taken over the investigation into Simon's death and the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Officer will perform an autopsy.

No detention deputies are on administrative leave, according to Torgerson


"We extend our condolences to Mr. Simon’s family and friends upon their loss," Torgerson wrote. "The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office is also supporting our staff currently in accordance with our normal procedures."

Simon was a former motivational speaker who had a long history with the criminal justice system.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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