Attempts were made to revive James Kauffman after he was found unresponsive inside his Hudson County jail cell last month, according to reports obtained by BreakingAC.
Kauffman was being housed at the Hudson County Correctional Facility for his own safety after it was discovered his alleged partner in an Oxycontin drug ring had planned to kill him.
The former Egg Harbor Township endocrinologist was found dead inside his cell Jan. 26, just more than two weeks after he was charged in the 2012 killing of his wife, April Kauffman.
It was the third suicide at the jail since Jan. 1, 2017, according to Hudson County Adjuster Neil Carroll Jr.
A first alert came in at about 9:34 a.m. that there was an issue in Bravo 300 West, the section where Kauffman was housed, according to an incident report by Sgt. Michael Arrigo. A higher alert came in a minute later.
Arrigo found a nurse and officer performing CPR on Kauffman, with the nurse doing chest compressions and the officer giving him mouth-to-mouth.
Another sergeant then arrived with an Automated External Defibrillator machine and medical staff, according to Arrigo’s report.
“Upon my arrival and as I approached Cell 513, I did witness several nurses performing CPR and using the AED machine on inmate Kauffman, James,” Officer Feliciano DeCarvacho wrote in his incident report. “At that time, I assisted in the resuscitation attempt by performing CPR on inmate Kauffman. Once the paramedics arrived on post, I immediately turned custody of inmate Kauffman over to them.”
Kauffman was pronounced dead at 10:06 a.m., and taken to medical 12 minutes later, according to a report by Lt. Michael Ripp.
The medical examiner arrived at 12:21 p.m., and removed the body at 12:55 p.m.
The county does not have the autopsy report, Carroll said. A suicide note was found in Kauffman’s cell, but the county is still reviewing legal issues to see if it can be released.
A letter asking that Kauffman be housed in Hudson County was sent to the jail Jan. 8, the day before Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced the murder charges against him and Ferdinand Augello, and the drug-ring charges against the pair and six others.
Augello — the man Kauffman allegedly had set up the hit on his wife — is also accused of trying to kill the former doctor inside the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
In the letter sent on behalf of Atlantic County’s Warden Geraldine Cohen, no mention is made of why the request is being made.
Instead, it lists the weapons charges against Kauffman and indicates he had no medical or mental health issues.
Kauffman “was seen and evaluated by both a psychiatrist and psychologist” after his June 13 arrest, Atlantic County spokeswoman Linda Gilmore told BreakingAC.
He was cleared June 15, with a recommendation to follow up in 60 days, she said. The first follow-up was in August, with a second in September.
There were “no problems or concerns reported,” Gilmore said.
The suicide happened three days after Tyner released additional footage of the standoff and aftermath of Kauffman’s arrest taken from a Linwood officer’s body camera.