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El Paso, Texas Jail Inmate Dies After 2 Days in Jail – Autopsy Conducted

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Interior of solitary confinement cell with metal bed desk and toilet in old prison

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, in El Paso, Texas, filed a custodial death report regarding the death of Alberto Cesar Portillo.  Mr. Portillo was only 36 years old at the time of his death.  We provide in this post information in that report, and we do not allege that anyone did anything wrong regarding and/or causing Mr. Portillo’s death. 

Mr. Portillo was booked into the El Paso, Texas jail on January 31, 2020.  He was put into general population, and assigned to the 8th floor.  He was apparently in a cell with 13 other inmates.  Mr. Portillo reported, apparently at intake, that he had high blood pressure, an upset stomach, and was addicted to alcohol. 

On February 2, 2020, at 4:20 p.m., a detention officer conducted a check of the tank in which Mr. Portillo was incarcerated.  Mr. Portillo appeared to be sleeping and snoring.

Twenty-three minutes later, a guard station received a message over the intercom system from Mr. Portillo’s tank that Mr. Portillo was unresponsive and needed medical assistance. Two officers responded to the cell and began CPR.  El Paso emergency services responded and transported Mr. Portillo to a local hospital.  Mr. Portillo was pronounced deceased at 6:46 p.m. that day by a Dr. Wong at Providence Memorial Hospital.

It is likely that the Texas Rangers will investigate, as such an investigation is customary.  An autopsy was conducted on February 3, 2020, and results are pending.

The report says nothing about whether Mr. Portillo was provided care pursuant to a detoxification protocol.  People who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, when incarcerated, may need treatment pursuant to such a protocol.    

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.