Jail officer in coma dies after being attacked by inmate

In this undated photo released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is Officer Gene Lee. Authorities say Lee, a Phoenix area jail officer who was comatose after being attacked by an inmate has died. Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said 59-year-old Daniel Davitt attacked Officer Gene Lee without provocation Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. He said Lee was grabbed by the throat from behind and knocked to the ground. Penzone said Lee’s head hit the cement floor and he never regained consciousness. Davitt faces sex crime charges involving children and is representing himself. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

PHOENIX (AP) — A Maricopa County sheriff's detention officer who died following an attack by an inmate is being remembered as a selfless man of integrity.

Sixty-four-year-old Gene "Jim" Lee was celebrated Friday at a memorial in Phoenix.

His nephew William Gutierrez says Lee would often tinker with radios, his dining room table and even took cars apart. He also loved a good bargain, especially at Goodwill.

The Arizona Republic reports that Lee had a career as an electrical engineer before he went to work in the Maricopa County jails.

Sheriff's officials said Lee died after suffering a head injury when he was knocked to the ground by a 59-year-old inmate.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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