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Ariel Ledesma Dies After Being in Galveston County Jail

DM County Jail

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Department filed a custodial death report with Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, regarding the death of 47-year-old Ariel Ledesma. We provide in this post information obtained from that report, and we make no allegation of any wrongdoing against anyone regarding Mr. Ledesma’s death. The custodial death report provides very little information regarding what occurred. The report contains a summary section which reads in its entirety:

“Staff was attempting to secure the inmate inside the cell by closing the door. The inmate came towards the doorway, attempting to exit the cell. The inmate was pushed out of the doorway, resulting in him falling backwards, landing on his back/head.”

Therefore, the report provides very little information regarding whether the “push” was hard enough to in fact kill Mr. Ledesma or, in the alternative, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department would provide some alternative explanation as to why a single blow to Mr. Ledesma’s head would be hard enough to result in his death.

The report also indicates, in regard to whether Mr. Ledesma exhibited any mental health problems, “Unknown.” The report provides no information regarding medical treatment, and it does not indicate whether the Texas Rangers will investigate Mr. Ledesma’s death.

Aside from Mr. Ledesma’s death, inmates are entitled to reasonable medical care and not to have excessive force used against them. Excessive force is unreasonable force used by jailers and which results in harm to an inmate. The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right not to have excessive force used against a person in certain situations, while the 14th Amendment and/or the 8th Amendment might guarantee that right in other situations. If a person has excessive force used against him, and he dies as a result, federal law applied to Texas law provides that certain claims are available to certain surviving family members. These claims are usually included in a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court.

Written By: author image Dean Malone
author image Dean Malone
Dean Malone is the founder of Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a jail neglect civil rights law firm. Mr. Malone earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, and from Baylor University School of Law with a general civil litigation concentration. Mr. Malone served in several staff positions for the Baylor Law Review, including executive editor. Mr. Malone is an experienced trial lawyer, trying a number of cases to jury verdict and also handling arbitrations through final hearing. He heads the jail neglect section of his law firm, in which lawyers litigate cases involving serious injury and death resulting from jail neglect and abuse. Lawyers frequently refer cases to Mr. Malone due to his focus on this very complicated civil rights practice area.