Franklin County Regional Jail 

A Franklin County Regional Jail inmate who was found dead in August likely choked to death on a peanut butter sandwich.

Paul Baughman, 69, had been at FCRJ since June 1 after being arrested by Frankfort Police and charged with third-degree assault, a Class D felony; resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor; and third-degree criminal trespassing, a violation.

The coroner investigation report stated Baughman was last seen alive by a jail nurse at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 24. Deputy Jailer Cheyenne Doench found Baughman in the early hours of Aug. 25. The coroner’s office was called at 1:21 a.m. and arrived at 1:48 a.m. Baughman was pronounced dead two minutes later.

In speaking with The State Journal in August, FCRJ spokesperson Ron Wyatt said Baughman was in a “protective custody” cell, away from other inmates, at the front of the jail. He told The State Journal inmates can be placed there for a variety of reasons.

The report indicates Baughman was found lying unclothed, face-up on his cot and was unresponsive. When Doench found Baughman, “they immediately did a sweep of the airway and removed parts of a peanut butter sandwich and started CPR until FFD (Frankfort Fire Department) arrived on scene and took over.”

The report noted Baughman had diabetes and a nurse had been giving him double meal portions each day to treat it. He was listed as having an “unspecified neurocognitive disorder” and had been taken to Eastern State Hospital, which specializes in psychiatric cases, on July 9.

According to the autopsy, Baughman had risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone in his bloodstream, both of which are used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. An “occlusive tan, slightly granular, apparent food material,” presumably peanut butter from a sandwich, was found in the airway of his right lung.

The medical examiner performing the autopsy said the death "can be consistent with choking (occlusion of airway by food bolus)" and that "the unspecified neurocognitive disorder is another significant condition that can be considered contributory.”

Baughman’s obituary stated he had a private ceremony at East Frankfort Baptist Church. He had an aunt in Midway, who was also listed as his next of kin.

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