Death of inmate from last year ruled suicide, no criminal charges

Megan Michelotti

The 2021 death of inmate Benjamin Halverson was ruled Friday at a coroner’s inquest as a suicide as a result of asphyxiation due to hanging. 

No criminal charges were filed. 

Halverson, 25, died Aug. 10, 2021, while in pod five, the isolation pod, at Lewis and Clark County Detention Center. This was the second inmate to die by suicide in pod five in the fall of 2021.

The Department of Criminal Investigation, part of the Montana Department of Justice, investigated the case. The inquest was conducted by Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Coroner Jessie Billquist-Jette, who substituted for Lewis and Clark County Coroner Leo Dutton who recused himself.

Megan Michelotti can be reached at

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