A murder defendant died of natural causes while in custody after refusing medical treatment for cancer, and no sheriff’s officials will face criminal charges stemming from the death, according to a report by Orange County prosecutors released Thursday.

Prosecutors concluded no one was criminally liable for the death of Nelson Ward, according to a May 4 letter from the District Attorney’s Office to the Orange County sheriff.

Between the date of his arrest in September 2015 and November of last year when he died, Ward submitted multiple requests for medical care, prosecutors said. But he also “repeatedly refused medication,” according to Deputy District Attorney Angela Hong, who wrote the report on Ward’s death.

Ward was found to have several “masses” in his liver in September, so physicians recommended cancer treatments, but he “repeatedly refused these treatments,” Hong said.

Ward was advised Nov. 16 that he needed to be placed on dialysis immediately for his liver and kidney and if he refused then he would die, Hong said.

“Ward declined this treatment and told medical staff, `Just let me die,”’ Hong wrote, adding the inmate also signed a do-not-resuscitate order. He was pronounced dead that day.

The murder charge against him was dismissed Jan. 19.

Ward was accused of killing 32-year-old Jessica Carvajal by running her down around 1:20 a.m. Sept. 12, 2015, in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn at 7000 Beach Blvd. in Buena Park, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino.

Carvajal and her boyfriend met Ward that day, which was Ward’s birthday, and the three spent the day driving around and drinking together, Pino said.

At some point, Ward decided to take a nap in the back of his van while he let Carvajal and her boyfriend drive the vehicle around, the prosecutor said. The boyfriend was behind the wheel and Carvajal was in the passenger seat, Pino said.

When Ward woke up, he grew angry and accused Carvajal and her boyfriend of stealing his vehicle and wasting his gas, according to Pino. Ward demanded they get out of the van, so the boyfriend pulled into the Holiday Inn parking lot, the prosecutor said.

The three continued arguing after the couple got out of the vehicle, he said. Ward then got behind the wheel, punched the gas and drove over a divider and a mid-size palm tree and onto a sidewalk, “crushing” Carvajal against a wall, Pino alleged.

She was pronounced dead at the scene and her boyfriend was slightly injured, Pino said.

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