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Photo by Josh Souza.

Inmate commits suicide at Ash Street Jail Friday morning


A 59-year-old male inmate committed suicide at the Ash Street Jail early Friday morning.

Mark B. Trafton was found in distress in his cell by a Bristol County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer during regular rounds around 4:45 a.m. Friday morning. Corrections officers immediately called 911 and started performing emergency medical care. EMS personnel arrived shortly after and joined Bristol County staff in performing emergency medical care. Mr. Trafton was pronounced dead by EMS around 5 a.m.

The incident is being investigated by Mass. State Police assigned to the Bristol County District
Attorney’s Office and the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit.

Mr. Trafton met with a mental health professional on Wednesday and his attorney on Thursday, and didn’t give any indication in either meeting to wanting to take his own life, nor did he have any prior history or exhibit any suicidal behaviors or statements since he arrived in custody of the Sheriff’s Office in September 2018.

On Friday, Mr. Trafton was scheduled to face a judge and enter a plea on multiple charges of aggravated rape, charges that may have resulted in more than a decade in state prison.

“We offer our condolences to his family and we’re keeping not only them but everyone involved in this incident in our prayers,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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  1. Well he’s a rapist piece of shit ..according to the report..
    So..not condolences to the family.. condolences to my fellow nurse and officer that has to remember this traumatic day for the rest of their life .. I’m sorry but good riddance to the diseased

    • Fu*k you. How dare you? Where’s the compassion. You did not know this man I was locked up with this man and he was an intelligent nice guy. Just cause the media said he was a child molester to make it seem “okay” to do doesn’t mean it was okay to do. You don’t know this man nor did you know his story you fuxkin asshole. It takes fuxkin balls to do what he did, something you wouldn’t ever be capable of doing, bi*ch!

  2. This man was about to enter a plea deal to aggravated rape charges…this doesnt bother me and I’m sure many others with daughters feel the same way…he was 59, he got to live and enjoy life in my opinion

    • His wife take all his settlement from his plane crash and could’ve made up a story of rape so he could stay behind bars while she took all his money you stupid fu*k. The man was a good guy and this women he was with took everything from him. So before you assume get your story facts asshole. I was locked up with the guy and he was intelligent and a good person you incompassionate a$$hole. It’s people like you that should’ve hung yourself instead of him. A$$hole!

  3. Keith you are absolutely right alot of people would feel the same. People who hurt children shouldn’t be around. However even tho people myself inculded are happy with the outcome I’m sure there’s victims that are not. He took the easy way out instead of actually paying for his crimes.

    • I agree 100%…I feel for the victims much more then him, I just tried being more descrete with my unsympathetic statement is all. I’d feel sorry if he wasnt admitting to the crime, innocent before guilty, but he did and so its whatever

      • Keith your a fuc*in idiot. How easy is it for an ex-wife to say he raped me, have him locked up and take everything this man owned? He was a millionaire because he flew airplanes and got into an aircraft accident. His bitch of a wife put him in jail and took everything from him. I was locked up with the guy. Saw all his paperwork you fuxkin inconsiderate asshole. You human beings make me fuc*in SICK!

        • I don’t know what he told you, or what papers you saw (except for maybe the deeds to his decrepit properties which he signed over willingly as his idea). Mark was an intelligent man, he was also manipulative and liked to play the victim. He also neglected to mention that his airplane crash settlement was long gone in a previous divorce before he met his current wife (now widow who he met at a school he was working at when she was his 14 year old student). He had been living paycheck to paycheck for years. His wife did not claim he raped her. A child family member came forward and disclosed what he had done and he fully confessed to the police as soon as he was arrested. He was pleading guilty the day he killed himself and was entering a plea deal for 15-20 years. Yes it is tragic that a person killed themselves, but to spew nonsense that you know nothing about you look like the a**hole. There are 2 sides to every story, and I imagine the one he told was easier and safer than admitting in jail that he was there for the rape of a child under the age of 10.

          • This is all so tragic. I knew a Mark Trafton in college at Skidmore. He grew up in Newton and lost his father in the early 80s. It’s hard for me to believe this is the same person, but the name and age are right. Can you confirm? Thx

          • @Ron Rubicco, yes this is the same Mark Beatty Trafton who went to Skidmore. DOB 4/15/1960

        • Brian,
          As someone who knew Mark I can tell you this, he was very intelligent. He was also a troubled soul, and kind of a shitty person. He was a master manipulator. I’m sure he had a big elaborate story about how his wife is a liar, and staged this whole scene. Let me tell you this, he confessed to the crimes, he also met his current wife when she was a child and took advantage of his position as a teacher 30+ years older than she. He had three failed marriages and 4 of his 5 kids hated being around him. So while I’m sure he quoted famous authors in his cell, and tried to sell you on the values of Ayn Rand, in the end he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of aggravated rape sooooo…

  4. As someone very closely entwined in this case, it should be noted that this man (if you can stomach calling him that) was going to plead guilty of his crimes on Friday. He made a selfish decision to rob the victims of his crimes a chance to confront him in court and a chance at closure. It should also be added that the many authorities in this case knew that he was suicidal. It was known upon his arrest in September, it was known through the letters that he illegally sent his victims, it was known by the fact he wrote a will in his first few months in jail.

    • Was this the same Mark Trafton that taught at west side high and had a plane crash

      • Yes it was. He was a teacher in the New Bedford Public School system and a pilot for Cape Air before his crash.

    • Whatever anyone thinks of rapists, the Bristol County jail has a serious problem with medical neglect and suicide. Please send me whatever you can (anonymously) to nbanon (at) protonmail (dot) com . Thank you.

  5. As someone who once knew Mark and his family very well, we are ALL happy to see him gone. He was a plague to humanity and we would have liked to see him around long enough to suffer in prison. I hear that Mass prisons don’t take kindly to scum who prey on children. I hope he is in an eternal hell from for the rest of eternity. I am sorry for the prison staff and first responders who had to waste their time trying to revive this piece of garbage. Thank you for sharing your comments. We as a society need to actively weed out predators from our society. Prison aided suicide should be a valid option everywhere!

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