Man awaiting sentencing commits suicide at Todd Road Jail

December 07, 2012
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula Firefighters were dispatched to Todd Road Jail Monday, but were unable to revive a prisoner who was recently found guilty of trying to arrange a kidnapping and murder.

Barry Carlisi, 57, of Bell Canyon, was found unresponsive in his jail cell at about 3:30 p.m. during a regular check, according to a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman. Carlisi was found guilty November 16 on a variety of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to kidnap, solicitation of murder, and possession of marijuana for sale while being armed with a firearm. He was scheduled to appear in court on December 13 for sentencing.

When Carlisi was found unresponsive, deputies and jail medical staff treated him before Santa Paula Fire personnel and AMR ambulance personnel arrived on the scene. Carlisi was pronounced dead at the jail; according to the medical examiner’s office he died of asphyxia by hanging. The death was ruled a suicide.

It was revealed during his trial that Carlisi had asked his friend Ruben Szerlip to kidnap and kill a man and his teenage son. The man targeted by the plot was in the midst of a divorce and child custody case involving Carlisi’s niece. Investigators convinced Szerlip, who notified law enforcement, to secretly record conversations with Carlisi.

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