In-Custody Deaths

Both constitutional and statutory law provide that cities and counties that are holding a person before trial are responsible for their well-being, including seeing that their serious medical needs are met, and that they are protected from harm, even from a risk of suicide, a risk that has grown since the U.S. greatly reduced the practice of putting persons with mental problems into psychiatric institutions. As the courts have stated, "Pretrial detainees and other prisoners have the right to receive medical treatment for illness and injuries, which encompasses a right to psychiatric and mental health care, and a right to be protected from self-inflicted injuries, including suicide." Cities, counties, and their officers can be held liable for being deliberately indifferent to a known substantial medical need or suicide risk of a person held in jail. - The McCabe Law Firm, Houston Texas

"A THIN LINE": The Texas Prison Healthcare Crisis and the "Secret Death Penalty" - Texas Civil Rights Project

 

2013

3/13/13 - Alex Guzman, 28, found hanging in his cell at the Harris County jail. Harris County Sheriff's spokesperson states this death is being investigated as an aparent suicide. (media reports)

 

2012

8/2012 - Shawna Huebner

29, was at Hobby Airport waiting to board a flight to Midland when police arrested her for public intoxication. She was only in-custody for 2 and a half to 3 hours before she was dead. (media reports)

3/26/12 - Jose Sauceda Jr.

h/m, 41, dies in custody of Pasadena police officers who arrested him for DWI, despite not having seen him inside his vehicle. After hearing screeching tires, they found Sauceda's car parked in his driveway. Claiming he appeared to be drunk, they arrested him and took him to the hospital for a blood test. But before they arrived at the hospital Sauceda was beaten and hogtied. Placed faced down on a gurney while hogtied, the officers refused to allow medical personnel to attend Sauceda as he struggled to breath and finally died. (media reports)

2/24/12 - Steven Lambert, 49, dies of heart attack in Harris County jail. He was not known to have suffered any heart problems before his incarceration two months earlier. (media reports)

 

2011

12/9/11 - Jose Ahismael Salgado, 28, found hanged in the Houston PD Central jail. He died 3 days after being taken to the hospital in unresponsive and critical condition. Police claim suicide. (media reports)

12/4/11 - Deltric Deon Caldwell, 39, b/m dies while in custody of Houston PD. Caldwell was arrested in the parking lot of a strip center for possession of narcotics. Shortly after his arrest, Caldwell was found unresponsive in his cell; paramedics took Caldwell to the hospital where he died. (media reports)

11/24/11 - Kyle Wayne Collins

Kyle Wayne Collins

29, w/m, "found" dead in Pasadena jail 4 1/2 hours after being arrested for DUI. (media reports)

11/19/11 - Robert Gomez, 30, dies while in custody of Houston PD. Gomez was arrested for DUI; police claim he was put in a cell fully visible to other inmates. But shortly after his arrest, Gomez was "found" hanged in his cell; police claim suicide. (media reports)

7/6/11 - Police probing burglary suspect's in-custody death - KTRK

1/22/11 - Norman Ford Hicks Sr.

Norman Ford Hicks Sr

72, b/m, and known to be mentally ill, dies of heart attack after being beaten in a room with no cameras by unidentified Harris County Sheriff's Office jail guard(s). Hicks was arrested for domestic assault on 1/7/11; on 1/16/11, a deputy claims Hicks threw a shirt soiled with human waste at him, and a "disturbance" followed. His injuries were untreated until the next day when he was taken to hospital, where he died 3 days later. Hicks suffered severe brain injury and a broken nose; autopsy describes his death as a homicide. The deputy(s) was no-billed. (media reports)

1/15/11 - Charles Albert Cathy, III.

w/m - (media reports)

 

2010

12/05/10 - Jose Ashismael Salgado, 28, died in-custody. Found hanging from the cell bars.

 

2009

8/15/09 - Daniel Aguirre, 20, died in-custody. (media reports)

 

2008

1/2008 - Margarita Saavedra - died in the county jail awaiting trial on drug charges. Her family alleges that she spent her final days complaining of pain, breathing problems, fevers, nausea, voiding problems and an altered mental state. Saavedra died of a staph infection. (media reports)

 

2007

7/21/07 - Pedro "Pete" Gonzales Jr.

Pedro Gonzalez

h/m, 51, dies in jail cell after being arrested by Pasadena PD officers Christopher S. Jones, 29 (joined PPD January 2007), and Jason W. Buckaloo, 33 (7-yr. vet.). The officers claim Gonzales resisted when they attempted to arrest him for public intoxication, and they struck him several times with their knees and elbows. (Gonzales was 5' 3" and weighed about 130 lbs.) A passing witness says she stopped her car when she saw the officers standing over Gonzales. "...he was just laying there, on the floor, flat on his back, and the cops were just punching him...he wasn't putting up a fight." When one of the officers noticed her car and began to approach her, the witness left, but stopped at a pay phone and called 911 to report the beating. The dispatcher said they could do nothing, and told her to call the police. Officers further claim that Gonzales tripped as Jones was taking him to the patrol car in handcuffs, and he hit his head when he fell on a concrete island. Once at the police station, police called an ambulance for Gonzales, who complained of pain in his ribs and legs, but signed a form refusing further treatment. He was placed in a holding cell, where he was found dead 6 hours later. A preliminary autopsy report revealed 11 broken ribs, one of which punctured his lung. (media reports)

In 2001, Buckaloo was charged with using excessive force on a high school student by slamming his face into a wall, but a jury found him not guilty.

4/8/07 - unknown,

4/5/07 - unknown,

4/5/07 - Rogelio Camacho, h/m, 33

3/31/07 - Michael Anthony Funka, w/m, 46

3/27/07 - Manuel Frank Ramirez, h/m, 62

3/10/07 - Mary Madeline Scott, w/f, 52

3/6/07 - Jose Cepeda, h/m, 59

2/24/07 - Armando Leover Garcia, h/m, 74

2/22/07 - Jeff Mark Watts, w/m, 44

2/18/07 - Six Years, 101 Deaths in Harris County Jails - Steve McVicker, Houston Chronicle

2/17/07 - Charles Edward Belgard, w/m, 54

1/23/07 - Kim Jeanette Humphries, w/f, 41

1/17/07 - Herman Lloyd, w/m, 41

1/16/07 - Renee Sperry, w/f, 45

1/5/07 - Donald Ray McCardell

 

2006

12/15/06 - Thomas Daniel Thomusela, w/m, 74, arrested for parole violation on 10/17/06, died after taking a nitroglycerine tablet. Possibly died of untreated heart condition.

12/13/06 - * Floyd Ray Jones, b/m, 50, arrested for drug offense and related charges. While being transferred to prison, Jones was found in jail hallway not breathing and without pulse. Cause of death unknown.

12/5/06 - Alfred Underwood, w/m, 50, arrested for theft on 9/18/06, died of meningitis.

12/5/06 - Arthur Lynn Barr, w/m, 44, arrested for assault on 10/30/06, died of liver failure/hepatitis.

12/5/06 - Jerry Lewis Ford, b/m, 41, arrested for sexual assault on 11/18/05, found hanged in his cell.

11/2/06 - Glen Clark, b/m, 33, arrested for assault/injury to a public servant on 10/12/06, experienced "spasms" at 4:00 a.m., stopped breathing at "unknown time"; given CPR 2 hrs later, transported to hospital and pronounced dead of unknown cause.

10/8/06 - Curtis Joe Watts, b/m, 49, arrested for intoxicated manslaughter on 8/9/06, hospitalized at 5:10 p.m., pronounced dead one hr. later; cause of death pending.

9/15/06 - * James Lyles, aka James Harding, b/m, 39, arrested 7/20/06, hospitalized 8/27/06, died of HIV complications.

8/13/06 - * Steven Dwayne Rich, b/m, 41, arrested 8/2/06, hospitalized 8/10/06 with gastrointestinal bleeding, found dead of septic shock.

8/8/06 - Bennie Baldwin, w/m, 36, arrested for child support violation on 8/2/06, found dead in cell; cause of death unknown.

7/28/06 - * Marshall Edward Parker, b/m, 48, arrested 5/27/06 with evidence of congestive heart failure and hypertension; hospitalized in handcuffs on 7/28/06 at 8:00 p.m. for irregular EKG readouts, pronounced dead an hour later.

7/17/06 - James Lee Baker, w/m, 42, arrested for family violence on 7/17/06, found hanged in holding cell 5 hrs after arrest.

7/6/06 - * James G. Landa, w/m, 48, arrested 5/27/06, hospitalized 7/4/06 with abdominal pain; cause of death unknown.

6/28/06 - Rossie Bonilla, h/f, 29, arrested for forgery on 6/20/06, found without pulse in her cell. No known pre-existing medical condition; cause of death unknown.

6/22/06 - * Byron Daniel Rogers, w/m, 42, arrested for DWI on 3/20/06; hospitalized 6/8/06, died of liver disease.

5/28/06 - * Darel Len McKay, w/m, 51, arrested 5/25/06; found lethargic and unresponsive, hospitalized 5/27/06; died from gastro-intestinal bleeding.

5/17/06 - * Robert Joseph Howard, w/m, 54, arrested 4/14/06; hospitalized at M.D. Anderson 4/16/06; died from renal cell carcinoma.

3/26/06 - ** Craig Anthony Allen, b/m, 47, arrested for terroristic threat on 3/22/06; found unresponsive in MHMRA cell.

3/15/06 - * Ronald Leon Williams, b/m, 57, arrested 3/01/06 with known kidney disease/dialysis; hospitalized 3/11/06; died of kidney disease.

2/25/06 - * Thomas Johnson, b/m, 59 - arrested 1/19/06 with known AIDS; hospitalized with septic shock on 2/24/06; died of AIDS related septic shock.

2/2/06 - * Leamon Caldwell, b/m, 58 - arrested 11/19/05 with known hepatitis C; hospitalized 1/29/06 with intracranial bleeding and seizures, died in the Harris County jail of same.

Also, see: 02/18/07 - Six Years, 101 Deaths in Harris County Jails - Steve McVicker, Houston Chronicle

1/13/06 - ** Daryl Dwayne Kelley

b/m, 26, arrested for unauthorized use of motor vehicle on 12/30/05 with known bipolar and schizophrenic condition, but not treated during incarceration; after being "escorted" to a second cell, Kelley "began having difficulty breathing" and was taken to the jail clinic, where "his heart stopped beating." (media reports)

* Drug-related arrest

** Mentally ill

 

2005

11/27/05 - Andre Demetrius Ball, b/m, 35

11/22/05 - Travis McKinney, b/m, 21, an epileptic, had a seizure in the eight months before his arrest for assault. During the four weeks he was in jail, he had two, the last one fatal..

Also, see: 02/18/07 - Six Years, 101 Deaths in Harris County Jails - Steve McVicker, Houston Chronicle

10/14/05 - Larry Ray Cure, w/m, 41

10/9/05 - Alvin Wright, b/m, 61

5/30/05 - Calvin Ray Mack, b/m, 44, dies in custody of Harris County jail. As Mack, a drug addict, lay bleeding in his cell, a guard refuses to summon help, saying, "What do you want me to do, get a band-aid?" Four hours later, Mack was dead. (media reports)

4/25/05 - Cecil William Jasper, b/m, 35

3/18/05 - Ralph Joseph Montez, h/m, 44

1/29/05 - Ronnie Lee Howard, b/m, 42

 

2004

12/17/04 - Lynn Francess Champs, b/f, 49

11/24/04 - Craig Dion Martin, w/m, 45

9/16/04 - Dedric Jenard Gray, b/m, 28

9/5/04 - Sandy Booker, b/m, 66

5/20/04 - David Brian Scott, w/m, 32

4/8/04 - Gary Michael Malloy, w/m, 44

3/25/04 - Martin Borrego Jr., h/m, 78

3/22/04 - Cheryl Kay Gee, w/f, 37

1/12/04 - Mattie Sanders, b/f, 69

1/11/04 - West Dixon, b/m, 21

1/9/04 - Norris James White, b/m, 40

 

2003

12/30/03 - Jerry Durdin, w/m, 40

12/28/03 - Daniel Zapata, h/m, 45

10/24/03 - Joy Carlile, w/f, 41

10/12/03 - John Chadencis, w/m, 49

10/7/03 - Dwane Scott Martin, w/m, 30

10/4/03 - Jerry Willis, w/m, 28

9/5/03 - Henry Leon Shelton, w/m, 62

8/13/03 - Terry Scott, b/m, 55

7/8/03 - Brian Kevin Wishard, w/m, 38

7/3/03 - Joe B. Vara, h/m, 81

6/13/03 - Lanny Edwards, w/m, 60

4/13/03 - Joseph William Beniretto, w/m, 76

4/1/03 - Eddie Michael Kemp, w/m, 53

3/26/03 - Darryl Craig Sampay, b/m, 41

3/25/03 - Gregory A. Curry, b/m, 43

1/9/03 - Kevin James Shanks, b/m, 47

 

2002

12/26/02 - Matthew George Testa, w/m, 27

12/16/02 - Gary Don Powell II., 45, dies while in custody of unidentified Houston police officers, who had arrested him after witnesses said he was "acting strangely" and had broken out windows of a house. After coaxing Powell from under a house officers claim he "violently struggled" with them and they handcuffed his hands and feet. Police claim paramedics at the scene checked his condition immediately following the struggle and found he had stopped breathing.

12/7/02 - David Brant Hatfield, w/m, 38

11/18/02 - Paula Renee Gotch, b/f, 43

11/17/02 - Miguel Hidalgo Franco, h/m, 54

7/21/02 - Andrew David Cox, w/m, 40

7/8/02 - Robert Leo Johnson, w/m, 60

7/3/02 - Roland Oliva, h/m, 33, died of sepsis, a baterial infection of the blood.

Also, see: 02/18/07 - Six Years, 101 Deaths in Harris County Jails - Steve McVicker, Houston Chronicle

6/5/02 - Unidentified man, 39, dies after being arrested by unidentified Houston police officer for public intoxication. Police claim he was unresponsive when the patrol car arrived at Central Jail, and he was taken to hospital, where he died.

5/31/02 - Robert Alby Wroten Jr., w/m, 35

5/6/02 - Catalina Ric, h/f, 42

4/25/02 - Rogelio Gonzalez, h/m, 58

4/11/02 - Eddie Charles Barnes, b/m, 47

2/19/02 - Larry Gooden, b/m, 49

2/19/02 - Judith Reichele, w/f, 42

2/12/02 - Ramond Reese, b/m, 53

2/8/02 - Luis Franco, h/m, 31

2/5/02 - Allynne Eugene Lewis, w/m, 42

1/2/02 - Randy A. Phillips, b/m, 47

 

2001

11/19/01 - Josefina Martinez, h/f, 47

11/15/01 - James Carroll Gross, 60, dies while in custody of Houston Police Dept. The day after his arrest for public intoxication, Gross was taken to hospital and treated for pneumonia and other infection.  He died the following day on 11/17/01.

10/6/01 - Beatrice Garcia, h/f, 52

10/2001 - Stacy Earl Matlock, 38, died from "complications of cirrhosis of the liver," according to the autopsy report. The report also notes that Matlock "developed multisystem organ failure secondary to a multiresistant staph aueus bacteremia."

Also, see: 02/18/07 - Six Years, 101 Deaths in Harris County Jails - Steve McVicker, Houston Chronicle

8/21/01 - Shamim Siddiqi, 52-yr. old Pakistani female, dies while in custody of off-duty Harris County sheriff’s deputy Charlie Ferguson, a 15-yr. department veteran, who was working as a security guard for Albertson’s grocery store. When she and two companions were accused of shoplifting, Siddiqi collapsed on the floor.  Her requests for an ambulance were ignored and she was accused of faking her distress.  By the time EMTs arrived, Siddiqi was dead of an apparent heart attack.  No stolen items were found on her. Ferguson was no-billed.

8/1/01 - Tracia Chavon Jackson, b/f, 25

6/23/01 - Timothy Webb, w/m, 44

6/20/01 - David Lacy Whitlock, b/m, 46, fell from his bunk, collapsed on the floor and succumbed to heart failure three hours later. But records show attempts to treat him before he died might have been obstructed by the lack of proper medical equipment.

Also, see: 02/18/07 - Six Years, 101 Deaths in Harris County Jails - Steve McVicker, Houston Chronicle

5/31/01 - Charles Inowu, b/m, 19

4/15/01 - Michael Leon Fobbs, b/m, 43

2/20/01 - Marion George Ford Jr., b/m, 63

2/1/01 - Ronald Leroy Baxter, w/m, 62

1/26/01 - James Monroe, b/m, 48

 

2000

11/22/00 - Calvin Joe Turner, w/m, 55

11/21/00 - Luis L. Gonzales, h/m, 46

10/26/00 - Christine Ann Pomykal, 41, found hanged with a telephone cord in a Pasadena City Jail cell.  An inmate two cells away said she heard a jailer yelling at Pomykal, then heard gasps and two thumps.  Police claim suicide.

10/13/00 - Gwndolyn Curry, b/f, 47

9/13/00 - Todd Leddet Olidge, b/m, 24

9/7/00 - Catarino Gutierrez, h/m, 38

8/26/00 - Scott Allen Mitchell

Scott Allen Mitchell

25, found hanged in the Clear Lake jail of the Harris County Sheriff's Dept. Mitchell had been charged with a family violence misdemeanor offense. Police claim suicide.

6/24/00 - Richard Williams, b/m, 26

4/25/00 - Ira Finlay, w/m, 71

4/16/00 - Charles Lamont Bush, b/m, 33

3/22/00 - Daniel Garcia Lopez, h/m, 19

2/8/00 - Michael Gatlin, b/m, 38

3/9/00 - John R. McNair, w/m, 32

1/1/00 - James Edward Richards, aka James Edward Pool, w/m, 39

 

1999

12/16/99 - Theodore Roosevelt King, b/m, 49

12/3/99 - Andre Love, b/m, 28

11/30/99 - Sadie Bell Wiley, b/f, 64

10/23/99 - Autrey Marie Rayford, b/f, 35

10/17/99 - Jason K. Dunlap, w/m, 37

10/10/99 - Jerry Pate, 47, arrested for public intoxication, is found hanged in city jail cell. Police claim suicide.

8/19/99 - Jorge Martin Martinez, h/m, 30

7/24/99 - Allan William Slezinsky, w/m, 42

7/13/99 - Vernon Lee Walton, b/m, 29

6/20/99 - Leroy Baker, rendered a quadriplegic when Harris County sheriff's deputies break his neck, dies a year later on 6/6/00 from his injuries. Baker had been arrested on an assault charge and said a deputy began beating him from behind; he was then dragged to a cell, further injuring him. Officials have thus far refused to disclose any involved officers' names.

5/31/99 - Roscoe Johnson Jr., b/m, 46

5/20/99 - Tommy Lee Cosey, b/m, 31

 

1998

11/28/98 - David Young Kemper, b/m, 35

11/12/98 - Patricia Castle, b/f, 47

8/15/98 - Sterling J. Barrilleaux, w/m, 72

6/13/98 - Terrice Marquis Brown, b/m, 19

2/13/98 - Stuart Dale Johnson, 37, found hanged at Harris County Jail. Johnson, a former police officer, had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Police claim suicide.

2/11/98 - Donald Gene Shockley, w/m, 51

2/7/98 - Roger Angleton, w/m, 55

1/12/98 - Royce Lee Charles, 23, handcuffed in patrol car, dies of heart attack when Harris County sheriff's deputy Richard Roe and another unnamed deputy refuse him medical attention after swallowing cocaine.

1/9/98 - Jesse Lee Jones, b/m, 50

1/4/98 - Christopher Molina, 32, quit breathing shortly after being handcuffed by HPD officers. Police say Molina had smashed the window of an apartment and struggled with the resident.

 

1997

12/1/97 - Vincent Ross, b/m, 41

10/18/97 - Darryl Wayne Andrews, b/m, 32

10/12/97 - Glenn Dale Washington, b/m, 27

9/9/97 - Kenneth Washington, b/m, 36

8/18/97 - Belinda Anene, b/f, 39

8/8/97 - Crespin Davila, h/m, 42

6/14/97 - Marion Curtis McAdoo, w/m, 57

5/27/97 - Jeffery Alan Morrison, w/m, 31

4/29/97 - Neal Owen Shoemaker, w/m, 32

3/20/97 - Marcos Frazo, h/m, 35

3/25/97 - Napoleon Collins Jr., b/m, 36

3/3/97 - Earl Thomas Rhymes, b/m, 54

 

1996

6/1/96 - Jeffrey Allen McAdams, 37, arrested for public intoxication, found hanged in HPD holding cell.

1/10/96 - Priciliano Rodriguez, 43, arrested for assault and public intoxication, found hanged in a jail cell at HPD's Northeast Substation. Police claim suicide.

 

1993

12/9/93 - Maximo Ernesto Perez, 19, h/m, died of meningitis while in custody of Houston Police Department. Perez was removed from an Amtrak train about 12:40 p.m., brought into the jail and booked as a drunk; he was never examined by a jail medical technician, in violation of a federal court order. Perez, head bobbing and unable to stand alone, was handcuffed and placed in isolation. Found unresponsive at 7:20 p.m., he was taken to Ben Taub Hospital but died 2 hours later. A wrongful death lawsuit was settled 2 years later for $500,000.00.

2/13/93 - Jorge Alberto Galvis, 41, h/m, threatening suicide, is found hanged in Harris County Jail 3 hours after his arrest.