The central jail in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

An inmate charged with the overdose death of another man in custody pleaded guilty last month to furnishing fentanyl and personal infliction of great bodily harm, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

Blake Edward Wilson, a disbarred Imperial Beach lawyer, was found dead in his cell Jan. 26 at the San Diego County Central Jail. An autopsy conducted by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded the cause of the death to be acute fentanyl and heroin intoxication, Sheriff’s Lt. Tom Seiver said.

Homicide investigators determined another inmate, Taylor Mitchell Barnes, supplied Wilson with the lethal drug. Barnes, who according to jail records was taken into custody Jan. 21 on a narcotics charge, pleaded guilty March 4 to furnishing fentanyl and personal infliction of great bodily harm, Seiver said.

Wilson, 35, was reported by his cellmate as unresponsive about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Life-saving efforts by deputies, jail medical staff and San Diego Fire Department paramedics were unsuccessful and Wilson was pronounced dead just before 9 a.m.

An investigation by the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit and the Detentions Investigations Unit found Barnes, 21, in possession of more than 20 mg of fentanyl-laced heroin.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Wilson, who was previously arrested for felony vandalism and had numerous citations for drug offenses, was disbarred in 2019 following a dispute with a client.

— Staff report

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