McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski announced Thursday that Thomas M. Doheny died Nov. 17 of “asphyxia due to suffocation by plastic bag” in his jail cell.
About 8:12 p.m. Nov. 17, jail staff found Doheny in his cell with a plastic bag around his neck that was loosely secured with a shirt, according to a news release from Majewski’s office. He was pronounced dead 41 minutes later at Centegra Hospital – Woodstock.
At the time of his death, Doheny was in jail after being found in contempt of court for unpaid expenses stemming from a 2014 divorce. McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge ordered Doheny to stay at the McHenry County Jail for an “indeterminate period” until he could pay $125,000, court records show.
Doheny’s partner, Sandra Avila, has said Doheny killed himself because he could no longer pay mounting child support.
“How do they expect him to pay for something when he doesn’t have it – and now he’s in jail?” Avila said in November.
Avila and Doheny were not legally married, but celebrated their union in late September. They lived together until Nov. 1, when he was found in contempt of court.
The father of three worked more than 30 years at Doheny Inc., an industrial equipment supplier in Island Lake.