Man facing sexual assault charges commits suicide in prison

Hartford – A 31-year-old man facing a litany of felony sexual assault-related charges died of an apparent suicide Friday evening in his cell at Hartford Correctional Center, according to the state Department of Correction.

John M. Tyhurst was found by correctional staff at 8:02 p.m. unresponsive in his cell with "a ligature tied around his neck," according to a DOC statement. He was alone in the cell at the time.

Correctional and medical staff performed emergency life-saving measures, and Tyhurst was transported to St. Francis Hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 8:46 p.m., the DOC said.

Tyhurst, with a last known address listed as Pearl City, Hawaii, had been in prison since July 30, when state police arrested him on charges that included second-degree sexual assault, three counts risk of injury to a minor and two counts of employing a minor in an obscene performance.

The cause and manner of Tyhurst's death will be determined by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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