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Inmate death probe ongoing
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MONROE - A John Doe investigation is still in progress, barring the plaintiff attorney from proceeding with a civil case suing local and state governmental agencies in the alleged wrongful death of a teen who died while incarcerated in the Green County Jail.

The detective investigating the death of Kyle Peotter, 17, has taken an oath of secrecy during his investigation to keep a witness from fleeing and will refrain from releasing evidence until the investigation is finished.

Peotter was found unresponsive and not breathing in his cell bed on Jan. 30, 2013, and was pronounced dead at the jail. It has been alleged that Peotter died of a methadone overdose; methadone is a synthetic opiate used to treat severe chronic pain and heroin dependence.

Plaintiff and defense attorneys called in via telephone to see if there was any update in the John Doe investigation and if the necessary discovery could be obtained to proceed with the case. Michael Witt, representing Amber and Michael DeGraff, Peotter's mother and stepfather, said they cannot bring in the detective on the case for testimony because he would violate his oath of secrecy. Judge Thomas Vale said the best option to proceed is to give the investigation more time to conclude and set a scheduling conference for Oct. 8.

"I don't know what else I can do at this juncture other than set a date in the future when we think things could progress," Vale said.

Peotter had been in jail five months before he died. He was jailed on Sept. 27 after being arrested for felony charges of vehicle theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His arrest came after a summer of numerous run-ins with Monroe police for minor infractions like drawing graffiti, being disorderly and trespassing.

Vale said both defense and plaintiff attorneys will be able to meet with the district attorney in October to see if the investigation is nearing its ending stage.