Man guilty of murder found unresponsive in jail cell, revived

Staff photo / Ed Runyan John E. Morgan is seen in court Wednesday afternoon before being convicted of murder, felonious assault and voluntary manslaughter. Morgan was found unresponsive in a cell in the Mahoning County jail Wednesday evening.

YOUNGSTOWN — John E. Morgan was found unresponsive in a cell in the Mahoning County jail Wednesday evening, a little more than three hours after being taken there from the Mahoning County Courthouse, where he was found guilty of murder.

Deputies administered multiple doses of the opiate reversal drug Naloxone to Morgan, and he was revived, said Sheriff Jerry Greene.

Morgan, 47, was taken to a cell at 3:06 p.m. and was found unresponsive at 6:28 p.m., Greene said. It is assumed that Morgan overdosed on drugs, but Greene said he cannot be sure until after toxicology results are provided.

When asked whether Morgan was left alone in between the reading of the guilty verdicts in Judge Maureen Sweeney’s courtroom in the courthouse and when Morgan arrived at the jail, Greene said no.

Greene said he also does not think Morgan had taken a drug before hearing his sentence.

Green noted that it only takes a small amount of a drug like fentanyl to produce an overdose, and Morgan was searched before going into the jail but he was in street clothes, so the drug could have been in his clothing, Greene said.

As little as two milligrams of fentanyl, about the size of five grains of salt, is enough to cause trouble breathing, dizziness, and possible overdose, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A jury found Morgan guilty of murder, felonious assault and voluntary manslaughter late Wednesday afternoon after an eight-day trial. He killed Daniel Peek Sr., 46, outside of Peek’s home on East Florida Avenue on the South Side.

Morgan is expected to be sentenced to about 18 years to life in prison.


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