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Massey told security guard he took cyanide; toxicology report could take weeks

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It will likely be several weeks before a cause of death can be determined for a Watertown man who died two days after collapsing at the Jefferson County Court complex, where he was convicted Friday of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

Jon K. Massey, 52, died Sunday evening at Samaritan Medical Center, where he was admitted Friday after ingesting an unknown substance in the court room as guilty verdicts were pronounced on four charges. A court employee saw Mr. Massey put his hand to his mouth as the first of the four verdicts was pronounced and Mr. Massey told a security officer that he had taken cyanide.

Sheriff John P. Burns said an autopsy will take place today, but toxicology reports, which would be used to determine what Mr. Massey ingested, typically take about six weeks to complete.

Mr. Massey was free on bail throughout his trial and had been taken into custody about 30 minutes before he began exhibiting signs of distress on the sally port behind the court complex, with deputies leading him to a patrol vehicle that was to take him to Metro-Jefferson Public Safety. Judge Kim H. Martusewicz revoked his bail upon the guilty verdict.

Mr. Massey was facing a state prison sentence of five to 25 years at sentencing, which had been scheduled for April 18.

A jury deliberated a total of about nine hours Thursday and Friday before ruling that Mr. Massey had repeatedly sexually abused his girlfriend’s daughter from September 2009 to April 2010 in Watertown.

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