D.A.: Inmate was Costa Mesa man

December 01, 2010

The Orange County district attorney's office on Wednesday identified the man who died recently in the Orange County Jail Intake Release Center as a Costa Mesa resident.

Keith Eric Files, 28, was found dead in his cell about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, about a day after being booked into the jail on a probation violation.

Court records show Files was serving three years of probation for a 2009 burglary and identity theft conviction.

Authorities said he was in a single-person cell and there were no signs of foul play. Sheriff's deputies found him unresponsive and had medical staff attempt CPR to revive him.


An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. The Orange County Office of Independent Review is monitoring the case.

Files is the second Costa Mesa man to die in the Sheriff's Department custody this year.

Ruben Gallegos, 36, died in jail after about three months in custody earlier this year.

An investigation by the sheriff-coroner and prosecutors found Gallegos died of hypertensive cardiovascular disease on March 6. His death was unrelated to his December arrest by Newport Beach police who had to use force to restrain him because he was allegedly on drugs at the time.

Joseph Serna

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