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Former Substitute Teacher Accused of Raping Student Found Dead in Jail


A former substitute teacher accused of raping a teenager was found dead inside the St. Louis County Jail this week.

“Brandon Holbrook, 30, had been jailed there since Sept. 16. He was alone in a cell under quarantine when a corrections officer found him before 4 p.m. Monday, said Doug Moore, spokesman for County Executive Sam Page,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

He was pronounced dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital about an hour later.

The cause of death is under investigation.

Holbrook faced three three counts of statutory rape and six counts of statutory sodomy.

KMOV shared further details:

Authorities say Holbrook first met the 14-year-old victim at Bernard Middle School, one of the schools where he was subbing. Police believe he started grooming the victim through social media platforms and exchanging messages and pictures in May. Police allege Holbrook raped the girl while at her home on three separate occasions. Police say Holbrook made veiled threats against the victim if she told anyone.

Police arrested Holbrook and he was taken custody at the St. Louis County Justice Center. Monday afternoon, the former teacher was found unresponsive in his cell. His cause of death is unknown at this time.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

St. Louis County police Sgt. Tracy Panus said two more potential victims had contacted police after prosecutors charged Holbrook. Panus said detectives were still investigating those allegations and hadn’t turned over their findings to the county prosecutor’s office.

Moore said corrections officers checked on Holbrook at 3:15 p.m. Monday and he was fine. They checked on him again about a half-hour later and saw him sitting upright on his bed and using earphones, and he didn’t respond to their request that he stand up. A corrections officer went into the cell, tapped Holbrook’s shoulder and found him unconscious.
The corrections officer tried to revive Holbrook in the jail with CPR; Holbrook was given Narcan, a medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. It’s normal practice for jailers to administer Narcan when an inmate is “unresponsive since drug use is prevalent among those who come into our care,” Moore told the Post-Dispatch. Medical staff at the jail also provided CPR, as did paramedics from Clayton, Moore said.
Holbrook had been in quarantine in an eighth-floor cell, not because of a suicide watch but while waiting for a second negative COVID test, which is protocol before inmates are moved into jail spaces with other inmates, Moore said.
“Holbrook had met with a mental health case worker earlier that day, and he was fine,” Moore said. About 1:30 p.m. Monday, the mental health case worker had cleared Holbrook to be moved into “general population,” the regular living quarters in the jail, though the move hadn’t been made by the time he was found unresponsive.
“Holbrook is the third inmate at the St. Louis County Jail to die this year,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted.


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