Text Us 24/7!

Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘county jail’

A 43-year-old Prisoner’s Autopsy Reveals the Cause of Death, in Toledo, Ohio

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Lucas County Courthouse, Toledo, Ohio (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Thanksgiving Day 2017, 43-year-old Lisa McCray was visiting her mother in Ohio and went with her mom and a friend to a casino. While there, McCray was arrested, along with her friend, for alleged disorderly conduct intoxication and booked into in Toledo’s Lucas County Jail. According to Internal Affairs Captain Richard Grove, McCray was moved into a holding cell after being booked and went through required screening. She reportedly showed no red flags for being possibly suicidal. He said the reason she was placed in the holding cell was because she was being disruptive. There is a working phone in the holding cell, and Grove said McCray used the phone cord to attempt suicide. This reportedly occurred within about 90 seconds of speaking with a corrections officer. At 4 a.m. on Friday, November 24, she was discovered unresponsive. McCray was transported to Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center, where she died within a 24-hour period.

The incident is being investigated. In the meantime, the autopsy has been completed. According to the coroner’s office, McCray’s death was self-inflicted with a phone cord. A suicide ruling or any other means of death weren’t specified because the investigation and toxicology results are pending.

In Texas, as in jails across the nation, there are procedures designed to prevent custodial deaths, including jail suicides. Prisoners are placed on stricter watch when there are indications that they may try to harm themselves.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,

The Custodial Death of Juan Cordova-Sanchez in the Texarkana Jail is Under Investigation

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Bi-State Justice Center in Texarkana, Texas (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Twenty-six-year-old Juan Cordova-Sanchez of Nash, Texas, lost consciousness within minutes of being booked into Bi-State Justice Center in Texarkana, Texas. Cordova-Sanchez was arrested at 1:56 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2017. By 2:40 a.m., jailers contacted the Texarkana Police Department to advise them that he was in cardiac arrest and losing consciousness. Cordova-Sanchez was transported to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, where he later died. Autopsy results are pending. The Texas Rangers are investigating the custodial death. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) will also look into the tragic death by examining jail records and conducting a jail inspection, to determine whether minimum standards were being followed at the time Cordova-Sanchez died.

A possibly related detail preceding the arrest of Cordova-Sanchez is that he had contacted 9-1-1 in the midst of events surrounding the entire police encounter. He said on the emergency call that he may be injured. Nothing further has been reported in this regard.

Jailers have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for prisoners and staff members. Routine inspections are made at Texas jails, and counties are held accountable, if there is evidence that minimum standards are not being met. For instance, in late October a jail inspection report was released about Edwards County Jail in Rocksprings, Texas. Eight items were listed that allege failures to meet minimum jail standards. One details a standard regarding screening of prisoners as they are admitted. It is alleged that a prisoner indicated that he had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and records show that medical personnel were not notified. A supervisor was not informed, either, according to records.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,

Summit County, Colorado, Agrees to a $3.5 Million Settlement in Death of Prisoner Zachary Moffitt

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Summit County Sheriff’s Office police cruiser (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In Summit County Jail in Breckenridge, Colorado, 33-year-old Zachary Moffitt, a prisoner, allegedly died in jail after suffering alcohol withdrawal in July 2013. On Thursday, November 16, 2017, Summit County agreed to pay Moffitt’s family $3.5 in an alleged wrongful death lawsuit. The settlement will need to be approved in probate court, since Moffitt’s two children are the ones who will receive the payout.

Records show that before being taken to jail, he had been admitted to a hospital for alcohol poisoning. The hospital contacted the police after Moffitt walked out of the hospital while allegedly still with a high blood alcohol content. Summit County police officers arrested him. The family claims that Moffitt had been exhibiting symptoms of alcohol withdrawal for three days while in jail, and the jail failed to provide medical attention. Authorities say he suffered cardiac arrest and was on life support for four days before he died.

Summit County Sheriff John Minor had asked that a formal review be done of the custodial death by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It was determined by CBI that detention deputies did not take wrongful actions that could have led to Moffitt’s death. No charges were filed in connection with his death.

In Texas, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards investigates whenever there is a custodial death, and they make determinations as to whether or not minimum jail standards were met. A basic right of prisoners is to receive needed medical attention.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,

A 60-year-old Prisoner at a Sulphur Springs, Texas, is Found Unresponsive and Later Dies

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Hopkins County Courthouse, Texas (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In Hopkins County Jail in Sulphur Springs, Texas, 60-year-old Melvin Williams was discovered unresponsive in his cell on Tuesday morning, November 14, 2017. A jailer was delivering breakfast when Williams was found. He was breathing but unresponsive. Williams was taken to CHRISTUS Mother Francis in Sulphur Springs and then transferred to a Tyler hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Sheriff Lewis Tatum of the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department said the cause of death is unknown. He also doesn’t yet know why Williams was transferred to Tyler. As is the case whenever there is a custodial death, Texas Rangers are investigating the death. In addition, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) examines records and conducts inspections to determine whether minimum jail standards were being met at the time a custodial death occurred.

The role of TCJS is listed in the Texas Administrative Code. The organization prepares Jail Inspection Reports that reflect areas in which jails allegedly fail to meet minimum jail standards. The following is an example of the types of standards jails must meet.

  • At each facility, there must be an appropriate number of jailers 24 hours per day. Jailers must have face-to-face observations of prisoners every 60 minutes at most. In areas where prisoners have exhibited bizarre behavior or are known to be mentally ill, potentially suicidal, or assaultive, observations are required every 30 minutes or less.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,

Access to the County Jail by a Federal Agency is Denied by the Oklahoma County Board of County of Commissioners

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Oklahoma City OK Oklahoma County Courthouse (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Without providing a detailed explanation, Oklahoma County commissioners unanimously voted on October 2, 2017 to deny an inspection request made by the U.S. Justice Department. The potential for a costly federal lawsuit is the risk of refusing to cooperate with the request to inspect Oklahoma County Jail. Lawyers from the civil rights division of the Justice Department had requested to tour the jail from November 6 thru 10. The purpose was to assess compliance to a 2009 agreement to improve conditions for prisoners. The chairman of Oklahoma County’s Board of County Commissioners, Brian Maughan, made a statement after the vote to the effect that he thinks all within their power has been done, and he thinks that most of the concerns have been satisfied, which deserves recognition.

The Oklahoma City jail came under federal oversight in 2009 for overcrowded conditions and 60 alleged civil rights violations. The following were among the alleged civil rights violations that were identified at that time:

  • Direct supervision of detainees was virtually nonexistent;
  • Suicide prevention was deficient;
  • Healthcare was inadequate; and
  • The risk of detainee-on-detainee violence was inordinately high.

Reportedly, civic leaders as well as county and city officials have been concerned for years that there might be a federal takeover of the jail because of the 2009 investigation. The sheriff in Oklahoma County, who is newly elected, reports that the daily average population size at the jail has dropped from 2,700 as of May 2014 to the 1,900s. The jail was built to house 1,200 prisoners.

The first new sheriff in two decades has made many improvements, such as repairs inside cells. In July of 2017, however, prisoner homicide occurred for the first time since 2004. Four detainees were charged with first-degree manslaughter in the gang-related homicide.

Problems currently identified at the jail include the presence of black mold in the jail kitchen and other areas and a lack of hot water. In addition, the district attorney is reportedly considering filing criminal charges against detention officers due to alleged improper actions leading to prisoner deaths.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,

A Bexar County, Texas, Deputy Intervenes in an Inmate Suicide Attempt

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, a deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department intervened and prevented an inmate from succeeding in a suicide attempt. Authorities say that the deputy discovered the 28-year-old inmate in a bathroom stall in the booking area of Bexar County Jail. The inmate was trying to hang himself. He received medical attention and was transported to a nearby hospital. Details about his condition have not been updated.

Earlier this month, on October 3, a 36-year-old inmate at Bexar County Jail died from apparent suicide, according to authorities. The man was incarcerated on an alleged murder charge. A few days later, a 53-year-old inmate at the same jail was discovered dead. Preliminary reports suggested that he died of natural causes.

In less than one month in the summer of 2016, four inmates at the Bexar County Jail committed suicide; and another committed suicide in December.

Bexar County isn’t the only place where jail suicide statistics are alarming. A 2014 study showed that jail suicides are on the rise across the nation, even though they are largely preventable. Since at least the year 2000, more inmates committed suicide in 2014 than any other year. The jail death rate was 140 deaths for every 100,000 inmates. In 2014, an average of more than one inmate died daily, at 372 jail suicides total.

Investigative journalists began logging jail fatalities following the death of Sandra Bland, who died in Waller County Jail in Texas on July 13, 2015. More than 800 deaths were documented. Data revealed at least 15 facilities in which inmates died at double the average rate.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,,

McClain County, Oklahoma, to Pay Estate of Diabetic Allegedly Denied Care, Who Died While Incarcerated

Monday, October 9th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In 2013, diabetic Kory Dane Wilson died after he was allegedly denied medical care in the McClain County Jail in Purcell, Oklahoma. In 2017, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit filed by Wilson’s estate. According to court records, county commissioners agreed to pay $750,000. The settlement was agreed to after a former jail administrator admitted guilt in violating the rights of the inmate. He said that he was advised of Wilson’s medical condition and failed to provide needed medical assistance. The jail administrator was sentenced to 51 months in a federal prison.

Records show that when Wilson was booked into McClain County Jail, he informed the jailers that he had Type 1 diabetes and needed insulin. A federal investigation allegedly found that he never received any medication at the jail, nor did he ever see a doctor. On the fourth day of his incarceration, Wilson was discovered unresponsive in his cell. He died two days later, having never regained consciousness. An autopsy showed that the cause of death was diabetic ketoacidosis.

Jails have a responsibility to prevent custodial deaths, if at all possible, by meeting basic needs. Providing medical assistance, daily meals, and stricter supervision for inmates at risk for suicide are basic duties. When jail standards are neglected, inmates can suffer harm. This exposes a county to litigation, when the result is injury or death.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,

The El Paso County, Texas Jail is Cited Regarding Failure to Provide Required Observations of Inmates

Friday, September 15th, 2017

El Paso courthouse (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) conducted a jail inspection at El Paso County Jail in El Paso, Texas, and cited the jail for one alleged violation. The logs for 30-minute face-to-face observations of inmates in detoxification and holding cells indicated that there were numerous occasions when jail staff  exceeded the time between 30-minute welfare checks by between 1 minute and 55 minutes. The intervals for observing inmates in holding and detox cells are not supposed to exceed every 30 minutes.

Suicides in jail are alarmingly common. In addition, inmates allegedly often experience medical emergencies in jail and yet rarely seem to get immediate care when needed.

Observation is especially important because it can be difficult to gauge when a person feels compelled to hurt or kill himself or herself when incarcerated. Studies done in Texas by the TCJS show that suicide attempts have occurred in as little as 14 minutes after a person has been in custody. Inmates have also been incarcerated for as long as 349 days before attempting suicide. As a result of research, jail suicide is recognized as an “action of opportunity,” and personnel in jails and prisons need to be aware that suicides can occur at any point in time while a person is behind bars.

Officer supervision has been found to be more effective for suicide prevention than video surveillance.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,

Police Misconduct Attorney – San Saba, Texas, County Jail is Cited for 4 Alleged Violations

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

    Former San Saba Jail (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards conducted an inspection of the San Saba, Texas, County Jail earlier this year. The facility was cited for four alleged violations of minimum jail standards. Among the duties of the commission is to hold jails accountable for the custody, care, and treatment of inmates. Of particular concern is when despondent inmates attempt to commit suicide or die while in custody for other reasons. A database was set up to allow public access to information about jail deaths. Allegedly, 6,913 people died in Texas while in custody from 2005 through 2015. When jail standards are followed, there is less of a chance that inmates will be injured or suffer a custodial death.

The following is information about alleged violations of jail standards cited against San Saba County Jail:

  • Texas facilities have a duty to protect inmates from one another and deter or prevent escapes. It was allegedly found during the jail inspection at San Saba that the cage that protects the air conditioning unit from inmates was not locked. It would have been possible for inmates to kick the window unit out of the window and escape custody. A secured perimeter meant to protected staff and visitors from inmates was not maintained.
  • Jailers allegedly failed to conduct daily inspections of the cells to insure an appropriate level of cleanliness of the living areas.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,

The Death of Stormye Murphey in Denton County Jail in Texas is Ruled a Suicide

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

When it was originally announced that 30-year-old Stormye Murphey died in the Denton County, Texas, Jail, details of her death were excluded. News has since been released that the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Murphey’s death a suicide with the cause being asphyxia by hanging.

Murphey had been in Denton County Jail for less than three days when a deputy discovered that she was unresponsive in her cell. The Denton County Sheriff’s office (DCSO) records show that she was admitted to jail on Sunday, August 13, 2017, after first being transported to Medical City Denton as a result of a “medical episode.” The DSCO did not provide any details regarding the brief hospital stay. Within hours, Murphey was released and placed in the jail’s medical unit. She did not have a cellmate. The purpose of her being in the medical unit was to have her medical condition monitored, according to Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree.

New legislation called the Sandra Bland Act has been put in place which is designed to help prevent jail suicides. The law was named after Sandra Bland, who famously had a video-taped confrontation with a law enforcement officer after being pulled over for not using her blinker. She was arrested for an alleged altercation with the deputy and then was found dead in her cell from hanging three days later. The death was ruled a suicide and became a nationwide rallying cry against racial profiling. The legislation passed in her memory makes sure more help is available for people who are at risk due to suicidal thoughts or other forms of mental illness.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,