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Sheriff: No Signs Missed Prior To Rep. Kivela Suicide

Clinton County Sheriff Lawrence Jerue photo
Courtesy photo
Michigan Sheriff's Association

Clinton County Sheriff Lawrence Jerue says he doesn’t think signs were missed in the suicide death of State Representative John Kivela. While being arrested, Kivela reportedly tried to walk in front of traffic on southbound US-127 and told the arresting officer “my life is over.”

Sheriff Jerue says he’s heard that kind of talk numerous times in 40 years in law enforcement, and that if he could change things, he would, but he doesn’t think anyone could have predicted that Representative Kivela would commit suicide after his release. "He would have had the opportunity to go into the traffic lane where the deputy was standing back away from him," Sheriff Jerue states. "It looks more like a stumble and starting to walk away, or perhaps even try to flee at that point."

Sheriff Jerue says that while in custody, Kivela responded when questioned that he had never attempted suicide and was not contemplating suicide. He says the Representative was under constant surveillance in the jail and was released to a friend after having reached a point of sobriety.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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