FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — A Perham, Minn., man facing murder charges died over the weekend while in his Otter Tail County jail cell, authorities say. The Fergus Falls Police Department says the manner of death was a suicide.
Derek Sweere, 41, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Otter Tail County Detention Facility at 11:34 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, according to a release from the police department. He was pronounced dead at 12:07 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, according to the release.
Sweere was charged with second-degree murder and possession of a firearm in the March 30 death of his Perham roommate, Brandon Snyder, 34. Sweere was accused of stabbing Snyder in both eyes, killing him, and then shooting him multiple times, at the home the men shared at 640 First Ave. S, according to the Otter Tail County Court complaint.
According to the police news release, the post-mortem exam conducted by the Otter Tail County Coroner ruled that Sweere's death was a suicide.
According to the release, during routine checks, a correction officer found Sweere unresponsive in his cell, after being secured alone for the evening. The staff immediately started performing live-saving measures, advised the dispatch of medical emergency personnel in the jail, and requested an ambulance. The Fergus Falls Police Department and the Ringdahl Ambulance service assisted.
The Fergus Falls Police Department investigated the incident and the Minnesota Department of Corrections has also been notified about the death of Sweere.
According to Minnesota State Court documents, Sweere was set to appear in Otter Tail County Court for an omnibus hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 27.
Sweere had faced up to 40 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge and up to 15 years or a fine of up to $30,000, or both, for the possession of a firearms charge, according to the complaint.