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Woman Commits Suicide in Sheriff Deputy’s Car in Fort Bend County, Texas

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The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department filed a custodial death report recently with the Attorney General of Texas.  The report was regarding the death of Veta Isabel Miller.  Ms. Miller was only 39 years of age at the time of her death, which occurred on or about October 5, 2018.  Information in this post was obtained from that report, and we make no allegation of any wrongdoing against anyone.

On October 4, 2018, a Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call regarding a possible disturbance.  He found a male and female at the residence.  Both people were outside of the home.  While the deputy was questioning the male, the female began hitting a window of the home with her hands.  The deputy believed that the female showed signs of being under the influence of some substance and he put her into the rear seat of his marked patrol car. The deputy did not handcuff the woman or apparently otherwise have her restrained.  The woman ultimately wrapped the shoulder strap of the seat belt around her neck, and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputies did not discover her until 11 minutes after she had done so.  The woman was ultimately transported to a hospital and passed away the following day.

The United States Constitution guarantees the right of all pretrial detainees to receive reasonable medical and mental health care, and also to be protected from themselves and others.  When there is a violation of this right, and a person dies, certain family members might be able to bring claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  This is the statute that allows people to sue for constitutional violations in a federal or state 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.