Timeline: Daniel Schlienz sick and in custody
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Dec. 15: Daniel Schlienz allegedly shoots two people at the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais after being found guilty of criminal sexual conduct.
Dec. 16: Schlienz is taken to the St. Louis County Jail, where he is held on $2 million bail. He is given a clean bill of health following a routine medical exam.
Dec. 22: Schlienz tells a corrections officer that he believes he’s coming down with something. He is described as having a “tick like” cough, and he asks for cough drops. He is told staff does not give out cough drops, but they can be obtained in a vending machine.
Dec. 24, 2:10 p.m.: Schlienz visits with his father and sister. After the visit, the father and sister tell jail staff that Schlienz is cold, needs an extra blanket and has a cough. They’re told that he needs to fill out a request form for a blanket and to see medical staff.
Dec. 25, 10:24 a.m.: Schlienz makes the first of four calls that day, to a friend who is coming to visit him. He coughs several times during the call but otherwise doesn’t mention that he is having health problems.
Dec. 25, 11:46 a.m.: A video captures Schlienz walking to vending machines. Schlienz does not appear to be in distress, walks normally, and is able to carry items back to his cell.
Dec. 25, 1:44: Schlienz visits at the jail with two friends, who tell the News Tribune that Schlienz coughed frequently and “at times couldn’t talk much.” The friends said Schlienz told them he asked jail staff for cough drops or medication but was denied.
Dec. 25, 7:38 p.m.: Schlienz makes his second call, to a cousin. He coughs frequently but does not complain and is not asked about his health.
Dec. 25, 8:59 p.m.: Schlienz makes a third call, to his mother. He again coughs frequently, but other than to say “My cough is coming back pretty bad today,” he doesn’t talk about it and isn’t asked.
Dec. 25, 9:11 p.m.: Schlienz makes his fourth call of the day, to his sister. He again coughs frequently but isn’t asked about it.
Dec. 26, 12:30 a.m.: A corrections officer said Schlienz woke around that time, asked for and was given aspirin, but otherwise “he was not complaining.” The officer noted that Schlienz had a dry cough, “but nothing he was complaining about.”
Dec. 26, 3:56 a.m.: A corrections officer making regular checks observes Schlienz kneeling on the floor next to the toilet. About 45 minutes later, he sees Schlienz lying awake and in the fetal position on his bed. At 5 a.m., he was lying on his back and appeared to be sleeping.
Dec. 26, 6:58 a.m.: An officer says he sees that Schlienz has “flu like” symptoms. Schlienz says he wants to see a nurse and is told to fill out a request form. Another guard says Schlienz, when asked how he was doing, “indicated he wasn’t feeling good and made his way to the toilet to vomit. He was just dry heaving at this point.” Schlienz declines food. Steven Oppel, who had a cell next to Schlienz, asks for another blanket for him, but is denied and told to use the one he has, as Schlienz is seen “laying on his folded up mattress shivering and his blanket was laying off to the side.”
“Schlienz had told me he was sick, but it was ‘just the flu,’ ” the guard wrote.
Later in the day, the guard authorizes another blanket for Schlienz and Oppel.
Dec. 26, 1:17 p.m.: Schlienz is seen by a nurse, who reports that Schlienz says he has body aches, feels hot and cold and that his symptoms started on Saturday. He is found to have a slightly above-normal blood pressure and pulse and a temperature of 101.1. He’s told to increase his fluid intake, rest and take Tylenol for discomfort.
1:48 to 2:30 p.m.: A guard says he performs three checks on Schlienz and notes “nothing caught my attention other than he was sick, and to me it looked like flu-like symptoms.”
3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.: An officer writes that Schlienz “remained almost entirely in his cell, is pale, complains of chills and stomach upset.” He’s seen kneeling over his toilet, but “I never observed or heard him vomiting,” the guard wrote.
Another guard wrote that Schlienz complained he “wasn’t feeling well” and was “dizzy.” He is seen sitting with a chair in the shower soaking his feet. He does not eat dinner, but eats crackers and takes an ibuprofen.
5:30 p.m.: A guard said he sees Schlienz “awake, on the toilet, hugging the toilet, or laying in a different position,” though he adds, “Never witnessed the symptoms of stomach flu.” Schlienz is encouraged to keep drinking fluids.
6:15 p.m.: Schlienz tells a guard he does not feel well, complains of chills, says his feet feel “frozen,” and he doesn’t want to eat. “He did not appear to be in distress other than flu-like symptoms,” the guard wrote.
7:15 p.m.: Schlienz asks a guard to go to a vending machine to get him bottled water.
7:30 p.m.: A guard bringing the water to Schlienz sees that his face has turned purple. He’s asked if he took something on purpose to make himself sick. Other guards are alerted to Schlienz’s condition. He’s asked if he has any trouble breathing and responds, “Mostly when I’m throwing up.” A moment later, he says, “I think I need to go to the hospital.” A guard notes that he sounds out of breath.
7:51 p.m.: 911 is called.
7:53 p.m.: A video captures Schlienz being taken out of his unit in a wheelchair. His head is upright, he’s seen holding a bottle, and his face is a dark purple color.
8:03 p.m.: First responders from the Duluth Fire Department arrive at the jail, with paramedics from Gold Cross arriving at 8:10. They depart at 8:20 for Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Dec. 27, 12:25 a.m.: Schlienz’s heart and lungs stop working. He’s revived but is not stable. “Time will tell,” a doctor says.
3 a.m.: His family is called and told about Schlienz. His sister and father arrive at the hospital at 6:15. They are told nothing more can be done for him.
7:42 a.m.: Schlienz is taken off life support.
7:56 a.m.: He dies.
Sources: Interviews and recordsfrom St. Louis County, Gold Cross Ambulance, and Essentia Health