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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’

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

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Police Shooting Attorney – Yoakum County Jail in Plains, Texas, is Cited for 10 Alleged Violations of Jail Standards

Friday, August 18th, 2017

English: Sarpy County jail in ; seen from the ...

English: Sarpy County jail in ; seen from the southeast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Police Misconduct Lawyer – Pasadena, Texas – Marion County Jail in Texas is Cited for Two alleged Violations of Jail Standards

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Victoria County Jail (Labeled for Reuse)

A Jail Inspection Report from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards was released for Marion County Jail in Jefferson, Texas, on August 1, 2017. One significant factor in these reports is that they can reveal dangers to inmates. There have been many custodial deaths and jail suicides in Texas and throughout the country that cause great concern. For instance, if a suicidal inmate isn’t checked routinely, there is a greater chance that he or she might succeed in finding a way to commit suicide by hanging. Many counties have had to pay settlements to families of those who died in jail as a result of non-compliance to jail standards. Sub-standard staff supervision and oversight are conditions known to result in higher levels of potential danger to inmates. Overcrowding can also lead to increased risk. The two issues for which Marion County Jail have been cited can both potentially make inmates less safe.

The first alleged violation of standards at Marion County Jail was that the jail exceeded capacity. The requirements are very specific. For instance, cells with multiple occupancy can contain up to 8 bunks with no less than 40 square feet of clear floor space for the first bunk and another 18 square feet of clear floor space for every additional bunk. According to jail inspectors, the capacity in six multiple occupancy cells was exceeded by one inmate per cell. Inspectors allegedly confirmed that this issue of crowding went on for each day of the past week plus for 12 of the past 30 days.

The second alleged violation of jail standards was that the jail failed to provide one jailer per floor of the facility where 10 or more inmates were housed at all times.

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

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Police Misconduct Lawyer Frisco, Texas – Kinney County Jail is Cited for being Non-compliant in 8 Areas

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Kinney County law enforcement (Photo labeled for reuse)

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards routinely inspects Texas jails, and inspection reports are available to the public. The safety of inmates is one of the major reasons for accountability. Considering the fact that jail suicides and other custodial deaths are not infrequent, this issue is very important to inmates and their families. Cities across the nation have been paying families of deceased inmates millions in federal lawsuits, due to such things as negligence and failure to follow minimum jail standards. Kinney County Jail has recently been cited for alleged violations of jail standards in eight different areas.

There are two cities in Kinney County, those being Brackettville and Spofford. The safety of inmates is no less important in small counties than in larger ones. One of the areas in which inspectors found that Kinney County Jail was noncompliant involves protecting inmates known to be mentally ill, potentially suicidal, assaultive, or are known to demonstrate bizarre behaviors when confined. Jail staff members allegedly went over the 60-minute observations of inmates in general population areas. These overages allegedly took place in an established pattern over the course of several months. These are the types of situations which county jails have been sued for, since they are attributed with making inmates more vulnerable to committing jail suicides.

The following are among the other alleged violations at Kinney Count Jail, based on an April 13, 2017, Jail Inspection Report:

  • Facilities are supposed to be secure in order to protect staff and visitors from inmates, prevent or deter escapes, and protect inmates from one another. The jail inspector observed that the entry to the jail was locked open with a chain on a wall. It was possible to walk directly into holding cells and the booking area because the unsecured door gives open access to the jail’s center hub.
  • Two staff members had no documentation regarding life safety training, and one of those jailers was unaware of emergency procedures to take when an alarm was activated.

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

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McKinney, Texas Police Misconduct Attorney – Bosque County Jail is Cited for Alleged Violations, Including Being Late for Observations

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Gonzalez, Texas, County Jail (Photo: Labeled for Reuse)

During a Texas Commission investigation on jail standards at Bosque County Jail, Texas, on March 20, 2017, six violations of jail standards were allegedly found. One of them is that jailers allegedly waited longer than the required 30-minute maximum between observations in the holding and detox cells. The jailers were allegedly late by as few as 1 minute and up to 34 minutes. These timed observations are part of the protocol used to ensure that inmates are not causing harm to themselves or others. In recent weeks, jail suicides have been blamed on jailers who failed to provide inmate checks at the required intervals.

The following is information about the other alleged violations at Bosque County Jail that were identified on the day of the inspection:

  • The staff failed to submit the report on the Veterans Reentry Search Service (VRSS), which is required. In addition, there is no log available to show when the last VRSS report was submitted.
  • No documentation was on hand to show that classification files were audited, which is required annually.
  • Two inmate files allegedly did not contain the intake screening forms that are used to identify inmates who may be potentially suicidal or mentally disabled.
  • For the calendar year 2017, there were no contraband searches documented, though they are required to be done both regularly and irregularly and noted in a permanent facility record.
  • It was found that preventative maintenance is needed for approximately 17 different items that ensure a sanitary, secure, and safe facility For example, several cells did not have a properly functioning toilet. Some cells have no hot water and some have no cold water.

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

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The Family of Devin Jaros Sues the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office and Others over His Suicide

Friday, August 4th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On September 17, 2016, 19-year-old Devin Jaros was discovered hanging in a LaSalle County jail cell in Illinois. Jaros had been incarcerated for less than a day when the suicide occurred. He was transported to a nearby hospital, and he died two days later after being taken off of life support. Physicians had informed the family that his brain would not recover. The Peoria County Coroner, Johnna L. Ingersoll, performed the autopsy. Ingersoll said the cause of death was lack of oxygen to the brain due to hanging. In late July 2017, news was released regarding complaints filed by Jaros’ family. In a civil rights suit, they are suing the sheriff, two deputies, and the county sheriff’s office. In federal court, they have filed a wrongful death complaint. They seek compensation plus legal fees, and the family demands a trial by jury.

Jaros had been arrested on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding. The family alleges that Jaros was deprived intentionally of his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. They also claim that the county and named officers displayed indifference to his medical needs. The family alleges that the correctional officers failed to check on the well-being of detainees that night. They also claim that deputies were guided to engage in illegal activities, due to alleged tolerating, institutionalizing, and authorizing by the sheriff or county.

Many high-profile inmate suicide cases and police shootings of unarmed individuals have resulted in large settlement amounts with various counties across the country. For example, a family was awarded nearly $8 million after an ex-Marine committed suicide by hanging himself in jail. Last year, the family of a jail suicide victim was awarded $11.9 million.

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

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An Inmate of Victory County, Texas Jail Dies While in Custody

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

On Monday, July 17, 2017, a vehicle that 34-year-old Anthony Rivera was in was stopped in Victoria, Texas. Victoria police arrested Rivera, who was a passenger, on suspicion of marijuana possession, under 2 ounces. According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, Rivera was placed into the holding area of the Victoria County Jail at approximately 10:40 p.m. He was processed at about 11:55 and returned to the holding cell. At about 12:55 am, Rivera reportedly began experiencing an unknown medical event, later described as convulsing. First members of the medical staff were summoned, and they called for emergency medical services. At about 1:14 am, Rivera was transported by EMS to Citizens Medical Center. While en route, Rivera suffered a cardiac event, according to the custodial death report. At 2:28 am on July 18, he was pronounced dead by a physician.

It also shows in the custodial death report that Rivera allegedly had marijuana and methamphetamines in his system. According to the sheriff’s office, law enforcement officers believe he ingested methamphetamines to avoid being arrested for possession of the drugs. Results from the medical examiner are awaited.

A general requirement in Texas is that jail cells must be checked every 30 minutes. A report from the sheriff’s office shows that inmate checks were done in 15-minute intervals during the time Rivera was there.

Records indicate that there have been 11 custodial deaths at the Victoria County Jail since 2005.

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

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Jefferson County is Sued over a 2016 County Jail Suicide

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

On September 16, 2016, 48-year-old Thomas Lorecki died after hanging himself in Jefferson County Jail in the state of Washington. One of his sons has filed a lawsuit against Jefferson County, claiming that his father had obviously been in a suicidal state and corrections staff failed to provide adequate supervision. The county essentially claimed in response that Lorecki’s death was a result of his own conduct.

The county also claims that a relative of Lorecki and a third cellmate both knew Lorecki was suicidal but failed to share the information with jail officials. In addition, the county says that Kitsap Mental Health Services may be an at-fault entity, but they were not named as a defendant.

A report by Sgt. Andy Pernsteiner said that Lorecki used bedding and his socks threaded through a wall vent 10 feet off the ground to end his life. The lawsuit brings into question why Lorecki wasn’t kept in a suicide-proof cell, since he had allegedly asked at least 10 times to see a mental health professional while an inmate at the jail. Pernsteiner’s report also allegedly said that at one point Lorecki attempted to hang himself with a T-shirt and that he was upset when guards were called because the shirt tore.

It’s expected that the trial will be held in 2018. In the meantime, it is still in the discovery stage.

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.

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Negligence Allegedly Contributed to 31-year-old’s Death, Anderson County Inmates Claim

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

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Jail Rape Verdict – A Jury Awards an Inmate $6.7 Million in a Rape Case Allegedly Involving a Jail Guard

Friday, June 9th, 2017

On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, a woman was awarded $6.7 million by a jury in association with her allegedly being sexually assaulted by a guard when she was an inmate at the Milwaukee County Jail. When the alleged repeated rapes occurred, the guard was on paid duty and on the job at the jail. The jury determined that Milwaukee County is, therefore, responsible to pay the damages.

There were other charges involved that did not result in a monetary award. Namely, the woman sued because she was shackled when she was going through labor and childbirth at the jail. This is a regular practice at the facility, and the jurors said they don’t think the government has a legitimate purpose for shackling women in labor. However, they also did not find that the woman was injured to the extent that monetary damages were appropriate. The woman was already pregnant in early 2013, when she was booked into the jail.

The woman is not being identified by name, since she is a rape victim. She was 19 years old at the time that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted. She said that she thinks the jurors delivered justice with their verdict. She also hopes that her case will help protect other inmates from becoming rape victims during their time of incarceration.

During the trial, the woman told the jury that she encountered her alleged perpetrator in different locations in the jail, where he assaulted her. The accused was fired from his job. Although the charge brought against the former jail guard was sexual assault, he pled guilty to a lesser charge.

–Guest Contributor

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