Hawaii inmate was strangled, death in Arizona prison ruled homicide

Jonathan Namauleg

A Hawaii inmate at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona was murdered.

The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner-Forensic Science Center said Jonathan Namauleg, 21, died from asphyxia as the result of strangulation or smothering.

His death was ruled a homicide.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, corrections officers were alerted when Namauleg’s cellmate, Jason McCormick, 41, activated a distress button in the housing cell.

They found Namauleg unconscious and face-down on the floor, and notified an emergency response team and medical staff.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Namauleg was serving three years for third-degree arson.

McCormick is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder.

He was found guilty in the 1996 cold case murder of Robert Henderson, a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii.

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