ALBANY, Ore. (AP) — An Albany woman who pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen sex crimes involving an underage person has been found dead in her jail cell, authorities said.
The Albany Democrat Herald reports in late February, 40-year-old Tina Ketcham was charged in Linn County Circuit Court with seven sex crimes. On Monday, the number increased to 15.
Ketcham was arraigned on an indictment for six counts of rape, two counts of sex abuse and other sex crimes. She pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for a jury trial in April.
The crimes allegedly occurred between 2015 and 2020, and Ketcham knew the victim.
Judge Brendan Kane has maintained Ketcham’s bail at $350,000, denying a request for reduced security.
The Albany Police Department began investigating the case in February.
On Wednesday, Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon said while performing hourly security checks at 5:10 a.m., corrections deputies found Ketcham dead in an apparent suicide.
Deputies began life saving measures. Albany Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene at 5:18 a.m. and soon after pronounced Ketcham dead, Yon said.
There were no signs of violence and she had not been ill, according to the sheriff.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with the Linn County Medical Examiner, is investigating.