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Man Dies in Llano County Jail in Texas

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The Llano County Sheriff’s Department, in Texas, filed a custodial death report regarding the death of Benjamin Braden Hoffman.  Mr. Hoffman was only 41 years old at the time of his death.  We provide in this post information obtained from that report, and we do not allege any wrongdoing against anyone related to Mr. Hoffman’s death. 

Mr. Hoffman was apparently originally incarcerated in the Llano County jail at approximately 5:32 p.m. on October 28, 2019.  Jail staff apparently knew Mr. Hoffman and were aware of a history of alcoholism.  Therefore, jail staff placed him on a 15-minute watch in a detox cell. 

At approximately 11:00 a.m. on October 29, 2019, Mr. Hoffman went to the door of his cell to receive his lunch tray.  He also asked the jailer for a cup of tea.  He received the tea at approximately 12:24 p.m.

A jail captain walked past the detox cell and allegedly believed that Mr. Hoffman was laying on his left side sleeping.  A jailer, allegedly at 12:25 p.m., on the jailer’s way past the detox cell, saw Mr. Hoffman from a different angle and noticed that his face did not appear to look normal.  The jailer banged on the glass to get his attention.  The jailer received no response.

Two jailers entered Mr. Hoffman’s cell and noticed no sign of life.  A jailer immediately started CPR and contacted EMS.  CPR was performed for 40 minutes, with no response.  A physician instructed EMS to cease life-saving measures.  Mr. Hoffman was pronounced deceased at 1:00 p.m.

The report provides no information about the fact that Mr. Hoffman was presumably provided with a cup of tea at 12:24 p.m. and had already been laying on his side allegedly sleeping one minute later.  Regardless, and without regard to Mr. Hoffman’s situation, detoxification in county jails across Texas remains a significant problem. 

Jails and jailers are constitutionally-obligated to provide reasonable medical care to inmates.  That medical care includes providing detoxification care for inmates who have issues with and/or are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.  If jailers fail to provide such care and/or treatment, and act deliberately indifferently and/or objectively unreasonably as a result, they can be liable to the inmate for any injuries that result.  If the inmate dies, they can likewise be liable to certain family members for violation of federal law. 

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.