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Terminal Inmate Dies While in Custody, 10th This Year


Tarrant County Corrections Center | Image by NBC DFW

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A man has died while under the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office’s care, becoming the tenth person in custody this year to do so.

Kelvin Lavon Brown, 56, died at John Peter Smith Hospital in the ICU Tuesday.

“Every death is tragic and we do the best we can to make sure our inmates have the best conditions possible while in our jail,” Sheriff Bill Waybourn said in a statement to the media. “Unfortunately, this inmate was terminally ill when he came into our facility.”

Brown’s death comes after a series of prisoners who have died this year in the care of the sheriff’s department. He was transferred from the Tarrant County Jail to the hospital on October 28, with officials explaining he was being treated for stage 4 cancer.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, and the John Peter Smith Hospital are investigating the death.

The other nine people who died while in the custody of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office included:

Alvie Johnson Jr., 74, was discovered with a head injury and died two days later after being put on life support.

James Carrell New, 80, died February 19 after being transferred to John Peter Smith Hospital for hypothermia and chest pains, later contracting COVID-19. The medical examiner did not perform an autopsy.

Edgar Villatoro-Alvarez, 40, died in the ICU with no cause listed on the medical examiner’s page.

Oh Young Park, 54, died in June after hanging himself, the fourth person since 2020 to do that.

Thomas Simpkins, 70, died of heart failure a week later. The attorney general said he had a prior diagnosis.

Richard Marta, 50, died from complications related to a COVID-19 infection. He eventually had to undergo heart surgery, and his family made the decision to remove his ventilator.

Trelynn Wormley, 23, is believed to have died as a result of a fentanyl overdose. Fort Worth police are investigating his death.

Lyonell Mitchell Jr., 72, died in John Peter Smith Hospital though a cause of death was not listed.

Kenneth Ray Perry, 65, died after being jailed for trespassing. He was found unresponsive in his cell and died two days later.

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