Seminole County Sheriff's Office: Capital murder suspect collapses in jail cell, dies at hospital

Michael Ross Friedman 1st degree murder suspwct, dies in police custody / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Michael Ross Friedman, a former Lake Mary school teacher accused of gunning down his ex-wife's boyfriend in cold blood from her Winter Springs porch in June before allegedly beating her nearly to death while their minor child was home, is dead. 
 

SANFORD, Fla. – The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of first-degree murder inmate Michael Ross Friedman, 64, of Delray Beach, who collapsed in his jail cell Sunday night and died a short time after he was rushed by ambulance to South Seminole Hospital.

Friedman had been held without bail at the Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford on a capital murder charge out of Winter Springs for the alleged shooting death of his ex-wife's boyfriend.

Here is a synopsis of what happened as described in a Seminole County Sheriff's press release sent to HeadlineSurfer.com and other Central Florida media outlets: Shortly after 11 p.m. (Sunday), detention deputies were alerted by another inmate that Friedman was having a medical emergency. A jail nurse immediately responded and administered an AED and compressions. Friedman was transported to South Seminole Hospital where he was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.

Here is a synopsis of what happened as described in a Seminole County Sheriff's press release sent to HeadlineSurfer.com and other Central Florida media outlets: Shortly after 11 p.m. (Sunday), detention deputies were alerted by another inmate that Friedman was having a medical emergency. A jail nurse immediately responded and administered an AED and compressions. Friedman was transported to South Seminole Hospital where he was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival. 

The preliminary investigation indicates Friedman died of natural causes, Seminole County spokeswoman Kim Cannaday added in the press release.

An autopsy was scheduled Monday Friedman had been incarcerated in the Polk Correctional Facility since June 26 on a capital murder charge.

Friedman was awaiting trial on charges filed by Winter Springs cops that he gunned down his ex-wife's boyfriend, James McCarthy, 48,  in Winter Springs at 1 a.m. on June 24, while on back porch of his ex-wife's home in Winter Springs according to Friedman's arrest warrant.

Before leaving the house Friedman beat his ex-wife in the head with a blunt object, according to his arrest report. She survived the beating while their minor child was present in the home. The couple divorced three months earlier.

Seminole County prosecutors were seeking the death penalty after a grand jury returned a true bill for first-degree murder in McCarthy's death and attempted murder in the near-killing of his ex-wife.

Prior to the allegations levied against Friedman, leading to his arrest and incarceration, he had been living in Delray Beach. And despite the commute, had been teaching at Markham Woods Middle School in Lake Mary from 2009 to 2011.

Friedman's attorney, Jeff Dowdy, chief of operations at the Office of Public Defender in Sanford, told the Orlando Sentinel he believed his client had been in good health.The only medicine he took, according to Dowdy, was a sleep aid.

Dowdy told the Orlando Sentinel Friedman had regrets: "He said, 'You know for 24,000 days I was a good man, a good father, … and I'm going to be remembered for one bad night.' "

The Sentinel reported the day Friedman was arrested, deputies found him in a car in Crystal River, on Florida's west coast. There they found hoses rigged from the  tailpipe to the passenger compartment in what appeared to be a suicide attempt by Friedman.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.