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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 ‘Suicide’

An Oklahoma City Police Officer is Charged in the Alleged Fatal Shooting of Dustin Pigeon, who was Threatening Suicide

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Oklahoma City Police Department (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On November 15, 2017, suicidal 29-year-old Dustin Robert Pigeon was allegedly shot and killed by an officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department. Court files show that on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, in connection with that fatal police shooting, the officer who allegedly shot Pigeon faces a complaint of second-degree murder or the alternative of manslaughter in the first degree. Early Tuesday, the officer was booked on the complaint through the Oklahoma County Jail.

The alleged police shooting happened at about 2:40 a.m. at Parkview Village Homes, where officers responded to a call of a suicidal person. Upon arrival, police officers found that Pigeon was threatening to light himself on fire, and he was holding a bottle of lighter fluid and a lighter. Officers tried to talk Pigeon into dropping the lighter fluid, but he failed to comply. According to court documents, a bean bag shotgun was deployed by Officer Troy Nitzky, and the bean bag struck Pigeon in the left hip. Immediately after that, an officer allegedly fired his handgun at Pigeon five times. Although Pigeon was provided with immediate medical attention, he died at the scene.

According to David Prater, Oklahoma County District Attorney, after an investigation, two of the officers at the scene were found to have acted appropriately. They used non-lethal methods to deal with the situation. The third officer, however, was found to have allegedly used excessive force and broke the law when he fired his weapon.

The sentence for second degree murder is 10 years to life in prison. The sentence for the alternative first degree manslaughter charge is 4 years to life.

Since the incident occurred, the police officer who has now been criminally charged has been on paid administrative leave.

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 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

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A Police Officer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Allegedly Shot and Killed a Man Who Was Trying to Set Himself on Fire

Friday, November 17th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, police with the Oklahoma City Police Department were called to a scene where a man was said to be suicidal. At the scene, according to Capt. Bo Mathews, 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon had soaked himself in lighter fluid and was attempting to set himself on fire when police arrived. One officer shot Pigeon with a bean bag gun, but it had no effect. A second officer allegedly shot Pigeon, killing him.

Both of the police officers at the scene have been placed on paid leave. This is standard procedure after police-involved shootings.

This incident is reminiscent of another that occurred in Arlington, Texas, on July 10, 2017. Gabriel Olivas had doused himself with gasoline, threatening to set himself on fire. Officers with the Arlington Police Department were called to the scene. When police arrived, Olivas was saturated in gasoline and holding a lighter. A police officer at the scene said Olivas began to be frantic. One of the officers deployed their stun gun in order to try to subdue him. As soon as Olivas was shot with the Taser, he burst into flames. Blankets were used by the officers to put out the flames, and Olivas was pulled to safety through a window of the house. The house practically burned down as a result of the incident. Three officers suffered from smoke inhalation and received medical treatment at a local hospital. According to the family shortly after the incident, Olivas suffered burns on over 80% of his body and was in critical condition. He died four days later.

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 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

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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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Sherman County Jail in Stratford, Texas, is Cited for 3 Alleged Jail Standard Violations

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Former Huron County Jail

Former Huron County Jail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Jail Inspection Report came out on September 26, 2017, detailing three violations of jail standards allegedly committed by Sherman County Jail in Stratford, Texas. Whether or not individuals are ultimately proven innocent, they have a right to be properly cared for while in the complete charge of jail staff; custodial deaths should be avoided if at all possible. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) does routine inspections on all jail facilities, to ensure that inmates, staff members, and others are in a safe environment. The civil rights of inmates should not be infringed upon during incarceration. For example, they are entitled to three meals per day, a safe environment, and medical attention when injured or ill.

One of the most dangerous situations is when an inmate at risk for committing suicide isn’t given appropriate supervision. Conducting frequent checks of such inmates prevents someone from succeeding in suicide. There have been many different cases in which a jail suicide occurred and then records revealed that deputies had allegedly been habitually late in making cell checks. Sometimes families sue a county for the loss of their loved one.

The following are the jail standards that were allegedly violated by Sherman County Jail:

  • The facility must be inspected annually by a local fire official.
  • Staff members must be trained for emergency situations at the time of being hired as well as each quarter. The training includes evacuation drills, emergency, fire, and location and use of equipment.
  • Written menus must be approved annually for compliance with basic nutrition requirements of inmates who are known to be pregnant.

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 Allegheny County Inmate Commits Suicide, the 3rd in 2017

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

English: Baltimore County Jail, December 2009

English: Baltimore County Jail, December 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 62-year-old Ross Frye hanged himself in his cell at Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After being discovered, he was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died that Friday. After the jail suicide, two correctional officers were suspended without pay, though details of their suspension have not been released. News outlets were informed by multiple sources that the two correctional officers were working when Frye allegedly hanged himself at about 10 a.m. According to sources from Allegheny County Jail, after the custodial death, another action taken was that an assistant director of nursing at the facility was dismissed.

Other changes were immediately set into motion, after Frye was discovered hanging in his cell. A deputy warden sent instructions to officers conducting rounds. They are now to always carry tools for cutting someone down who could be in the process of hanging themselves. The practice has been that for every two correctional officers working a pod, one carries a set of keys and one has a cut-down tool. The latest memo gives clear instructions that if one of the officers leaves to conduct rounds, the cut-down tool is to go with that officer.

Frye was alone in an intake pod when the deadly incident occurred. The deputy warden also sent a memo saying that no inmate can be housed alone in an intake pod.

Two other inmates have allegedly committed suicide at Allegheny County Jail this year, and correctional officers were fired after each instance. Another change that was made was the medical unit rounds are now done every 15 minutes rather than every 30 minutes.

Jails are not supposed to be places where people go to die. Incarcerated individuals, whether merely accused or convicted, deserve to be kept safe, even from 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

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Smith County, Texas Jail Takes Action to Prevent Inmate Suicides

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Português: Uma cela moderna em Brecksville Pol...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inmates committing suicide while incarcerated is a growing concern in recent years, and the Smith County, Texas, Jail is taking action. Arguably, the light began to be shed on jail suicides in a major way when Sandra Bland took her own life in the Waller County, Texas, jail on July 13, 2015. She had been arrested after being pulled over for an alleged minor traffic violation. Three days later, she was discovered hanging in a jail cell. She died and coroners say the cause of death was suicide. Since that time, laws have been changed in Texas to provide additional help for people with mental health issues who are incarcerated. The people at Smith County Jail have taken it upon themselves to take additional measures to decrease the number of inmate suicides in that facility.

Dozens of individual jail cells have been changed at Smith County jail in East Texas, and a suicide prevention cell has been created. According to Sheriff Larry Smith, there have been three suicide attempts at the jail this year alone. He said that in two of the three instances, the inmates were discovered during checks; and they were cut down from hanging themselves.

Sheriff Smith says that approximately 20% of their inmates have a mental health issue of some kind. This prompted the recent changes to single separation cells. They made it where there is nothing to drape something over.

Smith also said that individuals who are depressed or despondent should not be alone in a cell. A 12-person suicide prevention cell has now been created. The single cells are now used for inmates considered to be violent.

Other suicide prevention steps include that multiple cameras have been added to the group cell. There is an added window for observing inmates, but face-to-face observations are still important. Smith said that all of the extra eyes should effectively prevent inmates from succeeding in killing themselves.

Jail trustees renovated the group cell under the supervision of the maintenance department at Smith County Jail. All changes were funded by the inmate commissary. The changes cost the public nothing.

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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30-year-old Stormye Murphey, an Inmate at Denton County Jail, is Found Dead and Suicide is the Suspected Cause

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Denton County Courts Building (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday, August 13, 2017, Stormye Murphey, a Caucasian female, was booked into Denton County Jail on a charge of assault causing bodily injury. The next day, she had a an alleged “medical episode” and was transported to Medical City Denton, according to Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree. On the same day, 30-year-old Murphey was released from the hospital and booked into one of the medical units in Denton County Jail. She did not have a cellmate. On Tuesday morning, August 15, during an alleged routine cell check at 11:46 a.m., a jailer discovered that Murphey was unresponsive. She was deceased, and initial evidence indicates that suicide may have been the cause. So far, the official cause of death has not been released by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. The custodial death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers (with the Texas Department of Public Safety).  The Texas Rangers frequently investigate custodial deaths or deaths at the hands of police officers.

Murphree declined to provide further details on the nature of the medical episode that led to Murphey being transported to a medical facility. He said that their decision to monitor Murphey’s medical condition is basically standard protocol.

Jail suicides have always been a concern for those affected, but the problem has been increasingly in the spotlight ever since the death of Sandra Bland in Waller County Jail in July 2015. Her encounter with a police officer that led to her incarceration and suicide three days later has been associated with growing racial tensions across the nation. Since then, there seems to be more than the usual number of ongoing investigations, changes in legislation, disciplinary actions, and lawsuits related to jail suicides in Texas.  People have the right to reasonable medical care and to be watched, if they have suicidal tendencies, under the United States Constitution.

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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