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Man Commits Suicide in Custody of Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department


The Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department, in Alice, Texas, filed a custodial death report with the Texas State Attorney General on February 22, 2018.  The Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department reported the death of 28-year-old Marcus Soza.  Information in this post was obtained from that report.

Mr. Soza was originally incarcerated on January 31, 2018 at approximately 11:45 p.m., and he passed away at approximately 6:38 p.m. on February 1, 2018.  Mr. Soza was put into a holding cell with a friend.  His friend was released on bond on February 1, 2018, and Mr. Soza was left in the cell alone.  He was later found hanging by an article of clothing tied to the cell bars.  CPR was initiated just before 4:00 p.m., and Mr. Soza passed away after being taken to the hospital.

The report indicates that Mr. Soza made suicidal statements.  We know nothing further about the facts of what happened to Mr. Soza.  County jails in Texas, and sheriff’s departments running them, have an obligation with the United States Constitution to protect prisoners from self-harm when they have reason to believe that the prisons might hurt themselves.  If the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department had such knowledge, the county is potentially subject to liability.  However, we make no allegation of wrongdoing in this post.  Instead, we are providing general information.

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Dean Malone Lead Trial Lawyer - Jail Neglect
Education: Baylor University School of Law

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.