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Julian Dena Dies in Bexar County, Texas Jail (in San Antonio)

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3d interior Jail

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office filed a custodial death report with the State of Texas regarding the death of Julian Dena.  Mr. Dena was only 34 years old at the time of his death.  Information in this post was obtained from that report, and we make no allegation of any wrongdoing against anyone regarding Mr. Dena’s death.

The summary portion of the report reads:

“On 07/27/2020 at approximately 0820 hours while being processed into the jail, Inmate Dena would not fully comply with strip search procedures. SERT Officer J. Yzaguirre reported he observed a white substance in inmate Dena’s mouth and ordered him to spit it out. Inmate Dena refused and instead swallowed it. At approximately 1240 hours a CODE 1 BLUE was announced. Inmate Dena was transported to Downtown Baptist Emergency Room by EMS. On 07/30/2020 at 1413 hours Inmate Dena pronounced deceased per Dr. Leslie Jette.”

Thus, it appears that the officer knew that Mr. Dena likely swallowed drugs.  The report indicates nothing about the time that Mr. Dena swallowed the drugs, and how long lapsed between that time and the time at which he might have begun to show any symptoms.  The report also does not indicate anything about whether Mr. Dena was observed, and if so continuously or otherwise, after swallowing the drugs. 

Texas County jail inmates have the right to receive reasonable medical care.  If jailers are aware that a person needs emergency medical care, and jailers are deliberately indifferent to or act in an objectively unreasonable manner regarding such care, then they may be liable to certain surviving family members of a person who dies as a result.  Cities and counties can also be liable if a policy, practice, and/or custom led to the death.  Once again, we are providing general information in this paragraph and make no allegation of any wrongdoing against anyone related to Mr. Dena’s death. 

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.