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Homeless Man Jailed For Marijuana Possession Found Dead in Cell

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NH-ACLU
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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.

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