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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 ‘custodial death’

An Inmate in Coryell County Jail in Gatesville, Texas, Dies After an Altercation with Jailers

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

English: Christina Crain Unit Español: Unidad ...

English: Christina Crain Unit Español: Unidad Christina Crain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Coryell County Jail in Gatesville, Texas, Kelli Leanne Page, a 46-year-old female inmate, died on Sunday morning, October 8, 2017. She reportedly “slipped out of consciousness” after a scuffle with two jailers. The two jailers who were allegedly involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave. In the meantime, there is an investigation into the incident being conducted by the Texas Rangers F Company.

According to Mark Wilcox, Coryell County Chief Deputy, at about 8:35 a.m. on Sunday, jailers responded to Page’s cell because she had been banging and beating on her door. The jailers first tried to subdue Page verbally. When this was unsuccessful, a standard-issue pepper spray was used on Page. This reportedly failed to stop her commotion.

The jailers then entered the cell, after which an altercation immediately began. Authorities say Page managed to secure a pair of handcuffs from a jailer. One of the jailers suffered non-life threatening injuries during the altercation. Page lost consciousness after being restrained.

The jailers tried to give Page CPR. This was continued by the county emergency medical services a short time later, but the effort was unsuccessful. Coryell County Justice of the Peace Coy Latham pronounced Page dead. Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas will perform an autopsy.

The jailer who was injured received medical attention at Coryell Memorial Hospital and was later released.

This is the second time an inmate has died in a correctional facility in Coryell County this year, the first being the custodial death of Shana Tedder, who died following an altercation with a fellow inmate at Crain Unit, a female prison.

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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A Woman Threatens Suicide in an Oklahoma Jail and Follows Through Within an Hour

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Midwest City, Oklahoma (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday, October 8, 2017, a woman was discovered deceased in her jail cell at Midwest City Jail in Midwest City, Oklahoma. According to police, the 53-year-old woman had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol at approximately 2:20 a.m. Sunday. Her blood alcohol content was allegedly twice the legal limit, at .19%. The woman told jail staff that she intended to do harm to herself. For that reason, seemingly in compliance with procedure, her clothes were taken from her and she was placed in a protective jail suit in a cell by herself. She went to a toilet area, however, and was discovered there at about 3:45 a.m., already deceased. Police Chief Brandon Clabes said that every precaution that the jail staff needed to take was adhered to, in an effort to keep the woman safe.

Of course, this jail suicide is under investigation. Custodial death is something jails have a duty to try to avoid. Particularly when inmates advise jail staff members of their intent to hurt themselves, precautions are enhanced. Assessments are also done when inmates are being admitted into jails. An important part of an assessment is to find out whether or not the individual is at risk for suicide or violence.

New laws have been enacted this year in Texas under the Sandra Bland Act. The purpose is to help prevent jail suicides among inmates who may have mental issues of some kind.

There have been many occasions when the family members of people who committed suicide in jail sued the county for some type of neglect leading to the death. That is the type of detail that will be looked into during this investigation in Midwest City.

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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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

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The Family of Jonathon Fano Filed a Lawsuit in Connection with his Alleged Suicide in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On February 2, 2017, Jonathan Fano hanged himself in a cell at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in Louisiana. He died three days later. This week, on September 20, his family filed a lawsuit, claiming that Fano was denied needed mental health treatment and was also subjected to unbearable living conditions. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Those being sued for the jail suicide include the city of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and law enforcement and prison officials.

The lawsuit claims that the serious mental health and medical needs of all prisoners were treated with deliberate indifference.

Fano’s family claims that he routinely took medication for mental illness. He was in Parish Prison for 94 days on six alleged misdemeanor charges. The lawsuit claims that 92 of those days were spent in solitary confinement.

The family says that Fano boarded a bus in Miami, Florida, and was on his way to go home to South California. On October 30, 2016, he disembarked in Baton Rouge, allegedly in response to voices he heard. Law enforcement officers discovered him the next day allegedly disturbing the peace, yelling and shouting profanities at imaginary people.

At a press announcement, Fano’s older sister said that if her brother had been taken to a hospital, where he belonged, rather than the jail, he would be alive today. She alleged that he suffered torture and was denied treatment and medication when in solitary confinement.

Allegedly, jail staff reported that Fano was frequently heard crying in his cell. In addition, the suit claims that Fano had cut his wrists in an attempted suicide within hours of being in jail. The family claims that some appointments with mental health care providers were kept but most were not, during his incarceration.

The family expressed their desire to see jail and prison reform, so that others wouldn’t suffer the same fate as their loved one.

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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Fort Bend County is Sued by the Family of Eugene Ethridge Jr., who Allegedly Committed Suicide in the County Jail

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

English: The Fort Bend County Courthouse locat...

English: The Fort Bend County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Richmond, Texas, United States. The Classical Revival style building was dedicated in 1909. The Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 1980. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In November 2015, 33-year-old Eugene Ethridge Jr. was discovered hanging from a bed sheet in a Fort Bend County, Texas, jail cell. In news released on September 19, 2017, Ethridge’s family is suing in a federal court. Eugene Ethridge Sr., the father, and four minor children allege that Fort Bend County and its employees are responsible for acts or inaction that led to the wrongful death of their loved one.

There were allegedly several major warning signals that changes were needed at Fort Bend County Jail, just prior to the November 2015 custodial death of Ethridge. Two months prior, another inmate allegedly committed suicide in the county jail. In addition, a mere three weeks prior, Fort Bend County had been warned that the jail was at risk for being found noncompliant with state law. Allegedly, Fort Bend County jail staff failed to regularly check cells at required intervals on the very day when the September 2015 inmate suicide occurred.

The family claims that Ethridge, who was incarcerated on a charge of driving while intoxicated, died because the jail was lax about making inmate checks. As a result, his children were deprived of their father. They also allege that Ethridge was deprived of adequate supervision due to deliberate indifference. According to the family, no effort was made to inform employees that there was a need to be compliant about cell checks.

The Fort Bend County Jail was found by the state’s jail commission to be noncompliant, as far as basic standards, two days after Ethridge’s death. By December 21, 2015, however, it was declared compliant and has remained that way, according to Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood.

An alarming statistic is that four suicides have occurred in the past five years at Fort Bend County Jail, according to Wood.

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 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

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Abilene – The Taylor County, Texas Sheriff Explains that Inmates Have a Duty to Speak up About Medical Needs

Friday, August 25th, 2017

English: Public entrance, Abilene Zoological G...

English: Public entrance, Abilene Zoological Gardens, Abilene, Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ricky Bishop, Taylor County Sheriff, made a statement on August 23, 2017, in response to public alarm about two lawsuits filed against Taylor County Jail in Abilene, Texas, within one year. Both lawsuits claim that inmates who died in custody allegedly needed medical attention but were denied. Cynthia Cortez and Amanda  Scott  both supposedly died while inmates at Taylor County Jail and both had allegedly consumed an overdose of methamphetamines as they were being approached by law enforcement officers. The two lawsuits both claim that the jail staff failed to follow appropriate protocol that would have saved the lives of the women. Bishop basically said that inmates have many different opportunities to convey their medical needs. He also said that anyone who consumes that much of a concentration of meth is going to die; it is inevitable, he said. He also explained that jail staff are trained to watch for various conditions inmates might be in, based on their behavior. He claims that staff protocol is to do all they can to protect people from harm.

According to Bishop, inmates who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are placed in cells for detoxification. Inmates who appear suicidal are placed on special 30-minute watch.

Investigators found that four deaths have occurred at the Taylor County Jail in the past four years. Bishop said that it is not common for drug-related deaths to occur in the jail but that they occur sporadically and jail staff are trained to recognize when inmates are at risk due to drugs.

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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