Coroner: Inmate died of natural causes

Empty prison cell
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CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) -- Authorities say a 38-year-old inmate whose body was found in his cell at the Montezuma County jail died of "natural causes from chronic use of alcohol."

The Cortez Journal reports Harrison M. Begay, of Tonalea, Ariz., was initially brought to the jail on a trespassing charge in the early morning hours of Oct. 26 but was taken to a hospital because he was "highly intoxicated." He was returned to the jail and placed on a medical watch.

Jail staff found Begay dead in the cell just after 3 a.m. on Oct. 27. Sheriff Dennis Spruell says the inmate was not on medical watch when he died.

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