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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 ‘Texas’

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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19-year-old Jonathan Wilson Dies in a Waxahachie, Texas Jail

Monday, August 21st, 2017

English: The darkly gothic Ellis County Courth...

English: The darkly gothic Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie is considered by some to be among the best in the state. Photo by Danny Burton, 07/15/07. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An inmate in the Wayne McCollum Detention Center in Waxahachie, Texas, died on Saturday morning, August 19, 2017. Jonathan Wilson was 19 years old, and Ellis County Sheriff Chuck Edge confirmed that he died during his incarceration. No official statements have been made with regard to Wilson’s death. The family made a statement and expressed their belief that he may have suffered from cardiac arrest. Arrest reports to show why the teen was incarcerated have not been provided.

Edge said the Dallas County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy and a cause of death is still unknown. He also said the Texas Rangers are conducting an investigation.

Sheriff Edge also said an additional internal investigation will be done, to determine whether a change in policies and procedures is needed and to see whether anything was done incorrectly.

Edge said that employees that were directly associated in some way with the incident could potentially be temporarily reassigned while the investigation continues. No one had been fired, suspended, or placed on leave as of the afternoon of the custodial death.

A report released a year ago showed that nearly 7,000 individuals died in a 10-year period either while in police custody or while incarcerated in a Texas jail. Almost 2,000 of them had not been found guilty of a crime.

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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Protestors and Family Members of a Man Killed in an Alleged Police Shooting in Waco, Texas, Demand Justice

Monday, August 21st, 2017

English: I took photo with Canon camera in Wac...

English: I took photo with Canon camera in Waco, TX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lack of video footage of the alleged police shooting of Kerry Bradley in Waco, Texas, on August 1, 2017 is resulting in public demonstrations and demands for justice. The Waco Police department has not released any official police footage of the incident. Officers had arrived at the Waco location in unmarked vehicles that are not equipped with cameras, and the purpose was to arrest Bradley on alleged drug charges. Police claim that Bradley, an African American, was trying to escape and ran over a detective. His GMC Yukon became lodged on top of Officer William Graeber. Police also say they did not fire their weapons at Bradley until Graeber had been hit by the vehicle. Bradley was killed in the alleged police shooting and Graeber suffered critical injuries.

Family members and protesters have been accusing the police officers of causing the accident by first shooting Bradley, who allegedly then lost control of his vehicle and struck the officer. There are claims that footage exists to prove this narrative, but it has not come forward and the Waco police haven’t seen any.

On Tuesday, August 15, a Waco City Council meeting was disrupted and then shut down as a result of loud chants of protestors demanding justice for Bradley.

Police cameras are widely used, but they are not on all Waco police vehicles. Police Chief Ryan Holt said he doesn’t want to make comments on the case at this time because it is still under investigation by Texas Rangers. His answer suggests that no official footage exists. He said officers will soon have body-worn cameras and it’s unnecessary to equip every unmarked police car with a video camera.

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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In Point Blank, Texas, a San Jacinto County Deputy is Involved in his Third Police Shooting since March 2016

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Police car (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

In Point Blank, Texas, at about 11:24 pm on August 6, 2017, a deputy with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office was allegedly involved in a shooting. A 48-year-old male Caucasian and Point Blank resident, Vance Chastean May, was shot in the shoulder and has been recovering. The shooting happened on Highway 190 in the 6800 block. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing and involves the Texas Rangers, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In the meantime, investigators have reported that the same deputy is a former Beaumont, Texas, police officer who was involved in two fatal shootings. Those officer-involved shootings occurred in March 2016 and October 2016.

On March 5, 2016, the deputy went to a trailer park in response to a report of a car theft. Herbert Edgar Ballance of Vidor allegedly fired shots inside a trailer at that park and then put a gun to his own head. The deputy allegedly shot and killed Ballance, and a grand jury later chose not to bring any action against the officer.

Chaz York was the person the deputy allegedly fatally shot last year in October. Alleged facts of the case show that York went after the deputy with a bat, during a physical disturbance that moved from inside a business to a parking lot. A grand jury was presented with evidence about the October incident and declined to take any action against the police officer. They ruled on December 7, 2016, that the shooting was justified.

On February 3, 2017, the deputy resigned his position with the Beaumont Police Department.

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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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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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.

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Houston Federal Judge who Ordered Relief for Texas Heat-Sensitive Inmates to Hear an Alleged Heat-Related Inmate Death Case

Friday, August 11th, 2017

(Photo Labeled for Reuse)

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison of Houston ordered the Texas prison system to provide at-risk inmates of Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas, with air conditioning. State officials opted instead to move those inmates to an air-conditioned facility in another prison. Ellison is now set to rule on a lawsuit filed last week regarding the death of inmate Quintero Jones, who allegedly died of heat-related distress.

Only July 31, 2015, Jones was incarcerated at McConnell Unit in Beeville, Texas. It is un-air-conditioned, as most Texas prisons are. A prison guard allegedly took Jones’ asthma pump away from him that morning, and he was supposed to have it on his person at all times. The lawsuit filed by the family alleges that the heat index inside the prison that day was almost 110 degrees. Inmates who witnessed events surrounding Jones’ death wrote letters claiming that Jones suffered and begged for his inhaler for hours before dying.

Jones’ family is suing the Texas prison system as well as several prison officials and doctors in their lawsuit.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) does not list Jones’ death as being heat-related. Their records indicate that since 1998, 23 inmates in the Texas prison system have died of heat stroke. Research by Dallas news outlet WFAA shows that, since 2005, 21 inmates in Texas prisons died in asthma-related incidents. They also claim that about 23 inmates have died of heat-related causes in Texas prisons in just the past 10 years.

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 Judge Hears a Motion in Death of Dennis Grigsby, who was Allegedly Shot by Police in Texarkana, Texas

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Texarkana, Texas, Police (Photo Labeled for Reuse)

On December 15, 2014, 35-year-old Dennis Grigsby Jr., who was an African American with a history of schizophrenia, was allegedly fatally shot by a Texarkana, Texas, police officer as he stood in a neighbor’s garage holding a spoon. On August 9, 2017, in Texarkana, a federal judge heard a motion in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Grigsby’s family. The family alleges that excessive force was used against Grigsby. A grand jury in Bowie County did not indict the police officer who allegedly fired the single shot in the chest, which was a fatal wound. The motion being considered this week was a request for a dismissal of the case. During the hearing, an audio recording from the officer’s body microphone was played

The family is questioning such things as why he did not inform Grigsby that he was a police officer and why he didn’t park his vehicle in a way that he could illuminate the garage with the headlights. In answer, the officer did not take these actions because he was avoiding endangering himself.

The officer also points out that the neighbors who called the police said they heard moans and said someone was tapping on their window. The officer said he felt that it may not be a burglary but a different type of situation

The judge announced that recommendations and a report about this alleged fatal police shooting should be forthcoming within a few weeks.

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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Activists Demand an Independent Investigation of a Waco Police Shooting

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Scott & White Hospital Temple, Texas (Photo labeled for reuse)

In Waco, Texas, on August 1, 2017, Waco police officers allegedly shot and killed Kerry Bradley, an African American. Police say 37-year-old Bradley was evading arrest when he used a GMC Denali to run over Officer William Graeber. Other officers opened fire on Bradley, whose vehicle police say still had Graeber pinned underneath. According to Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, with the Waco Police Department, multiple officers had to work together to lift the vehicle off of Graeber. The injured officer was transported to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, where he was said to be in critical but stable condition, following surgery. Bradley was transported to the same hospital, where he later died. A Dallas-based group called the Next Generation Action Network claims that they have witnesses and video footage proving that Bradley was first shot, lost control of the vehicle, and then ran over the officer. The Waco Police Department points out that none of this alleged evidence has been provided as yet.

On Thursday, August 10, members of the activist group marched to the Waco Police Department. They demanded the opportunity to talk face-to-face with Police Chief Ryan Holt. Chief Holt said that discussing the case before it has been presented to the District Attorney in McLennan County is premature. He released a statement expressing condolences to the Bradley Family and Graber and his family. He said the department is cooperating with investigations and has a commitment to ensure that Waco is safe for all residents.

The Special Crimes Unit and the Texas Rangers are both investigating the fatal police shooting of Bradley.

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.

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