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Inmate hangs self in county jail

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A 42-year-old convicted sex offender committed suicide in the San Luis Obispo County jail last week, hours before officials were to transport him to the Wasco State Prison for a 71-year prison term.

Eugene Sloan, a Santa Maria resident, was convicted in 2004 of raping a 40-year-old Los Osos woman. It was his fourth sex crime conviction and his third felony strike.

Jail staff found Sloan at about 2:05 a.m. on Friday during a routine check. After life-saving efforts failed, he was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead.

Sheriff officials have confirmed that an autopsy has been completed and that they are conducting an investigation into the death, but are remaining silent about their findings until a toxicology report is completed in the coming weeks.

-A.H.

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