Two Inmates Die in Local County Jail

Jail cell | Image by Darrin Klimek/Getty Images

Two inmates have died in the custody of Tarrant County authorities in one week.

The first of two inmates housed in the facility was found unresponsive in his cell after he failed to show up for breakfast. Detention officers discovered the deceased inmate around 5:35 a.m. on April 18, reported CBS News Texas.

Since December 4, 2023, the inmate has been in custody for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and deadly conduct. The inmate’s name and cause of death have not yet been released.

A second inmate died on April 21. During a morning routine check for contraband, Anthony Johnson, 31, refused to exit to have his cell searched. A fight ensued, resulting in the detention officers using Oleoresin Capsicum spray to bring Johnson under control, reported CBS News Texas.

Onsite medical staff from John Peter Smith Hospital examined Johnson, during which time the inmate became unresponsive. The medical staff administered CPR and transported Johnson to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Johnson had been jailed since April 19 on charges of tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Texas Rangers will investigate the inmate’s death.

Since 2017, 60 Tarrant County inmates have died, an average of more than eight prisoners per year, according to WFAA.

Sheriff Bill Waybourn has stated in the past that factors beyond the jail’s control have contributed to the high number of jail deaths.

“In 99 percent of the cases, everything was done right, and unfortunately, somebody passed away,” Waybourn told WFAA.

Dallas County has also seen its share of jail deaths, with two inmates having died in August 2023. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has described the jail’s situation as a “mess,” as previously reported by The Dallas Express. The jail hit 97% capacity, prompting Dallas County officials to release inmates despite increased crime.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article