Woman indicted for man’s overdose death at Youngstown prison

Local News

The man had swallowed several balloons full of drugs and died after one of them burst

Latonya Cliff, charged with involuntary manslaughter in a man's overdose death at the Youngstown prison.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The girlfriend of an inmate who died after a balloon full of drugs he swallowed burst has been indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury.

Latonya Cliff, 27, of Cleveland, was indicted Thursday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, illegal conveyance of prohibited items into a detention facility, aggravated trafficking in drugs and aggravated possession of drugs.

Jail records do not show if she is in custody yet.

She was indicted for the Dec. 15, 2018, death of Perez Worley, 28, who was found dead in his cell at the Northeast Ohio Correction Center on Youngstown-Hubbard Road.

A coroner’s report said Perez died from toxic amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine. During an autopsy, seven balloons full of cocaine and methamphetamine were found in his large intestines, the report said.

An eighth balloon had burst, causing his death. An autopsy reported that there was no signs of drug use found in Worley’s cell.

Paramedics were called after prison staff was alerted via an alarm that Worley had fallen in his cell.

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Yacovone said that Cliff was Worley’s girlfriend. Yacovone said he did not know if Worley swallowed the drugs for his own benefit or to distribute inside the prison.

Yacovone said it is believed that Worley had swallowed the balloons and would somehow retrieve them either by throwing up or defacating.

Court records show that Worley was in prison for a 2015 conviction in Cuyahoga County and was appealing his sentence in federal court. Court records do not state why Worley was moved from the Trumbull Correctional Institution to the private prison.

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