Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Make a gift today and you could win a trip to Portugal!

Homeless Man Jailed For Marijuana Possession Found Dead in Cell


A homeless man jailed for marijuana possession and unable to come up with the $100 cash bail was found dead in his cell at the Valley Street Jail in Manchester Sunday.

Jeffrey Pendleton, 26, was found unconscious in his cell during a routine head count. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

In a press release Monday, jail officials say there were no apparent signs of distress.

An investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.

Pendleton had been in jail since Wednesday, a day after Nashua police arrested him on a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession.

His death comes a year after he settled a pair of high-profile civil rights lawsuits.

Last March, the town of Hudson agreed to pay Pendleton more than $7,000 after he was ticketed for panhandling on public property.

Pendleton also received a $10,000 settlement from the city of Nashua.

He spent more than 30 days in jail after being arrested for walking in a park next to the city’s library.

In a statement, the New Hampshire-ACLU, which represented Pendleton in those cases, says it’s deeply saddened by the death, calling him a defender of constitutional rights. 

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.