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Inmate hit with Taser, dies in custody

POSTED September 18, 2009 11:47 p.m.
An inmate at the Stanislaus County Jail died while in custody after he was shot with a stun gun, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
Alton Warren Ham, 45, was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon. The sheriff’s department released the information Friday.
According to the sheriff’s department, Ham was exhibiting, “irrational behavior and was combative.”  
Sheriff’s deputies were attempting to move Ham to a sobering cell for his own safety when he started fighting with them. A Taser was used to subdue Ham during the fight, according to the sheriff’s department. After being hit with the Taser, Ham was moved and then became unresponsive. Jail medical staff immediately began CPR, but were unable to revive him, the sheriff’s department reported.
An autopsy showed that Ham had an enlarged heart, according to the sheriff’s department. Toxicology results are pending.
Ham was arrested early Wednesday morning by the sheriff’s department on charges stemming from a home invasion robbery in Hughson. Ham allegedly went to the residence of an elderly woman and attempted to gain entry by telling the woman that he was being chased by a group of Hispanic men. The elderly woman did not let Ham in the house and called 9-1-1. Ham broke a window, entered the house, and ransacked the residence while the victim was still inside. Deputies arrived and arrested Ham. The victim was unharmed.

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