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Northern Minnesota man held in security hospital death

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ST. PETER — A man with a criminal history on the Red Lake Indian Reservation and in Bemidji is in jail after the death Wednesday night of a fellow state hospital patient.

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Darnell Dee Whitefeather, 31, was taken to the Nicollet County Jail after Michael Douglas, 41, of Blue Earth County, died in his room of the Minnesota State Security Hospital in St. Peter, a facility that houses mentally ill patients.

Gov. Mark Dayton has asked to be kept up to date on the investigation. The state hospital has been the target of continuing criticism in the past couple of years over incidents such as allowing a patient to continually ram his head into a wall.

“In addition to the investigation of local law enforcement, death reviews will be conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and a Root Cause Analysis will be required ...” Deputy Human Services Commissioner Anne Barry said. “We will cooperate fully with any and all reviews into the death of the patient served by Security Hospital.”

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