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Midland County, Texas Jail Prisoner Allegedly Commits Suicide

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The Midland County, Texas Sheriff’s Department recently filed a custodial death report with the Texas State Attorney General regarding the suicide of Stephanie Ann Gonzalez.  Information in this post was obtained from that report, and we make no allegation of any wrongdoing against anyone.  We are simply providing information.

Ms. Gonzalez was taken into custody on June 17, 2018 at approximately 7:40 p.m.  The report indicates that she passed away at approximately 10:00 p.m. that evening.

Ms. Gonzalez was received at the county jail at 8:13 p.m. and “cleared medically.”  She was received by the booking officer, who determined that she was too intoxicated to answer suicide screening questions.  Therefore, the booking officer did not complete the required suicide screening form.  The booking officer also did not place Ms. Gonzalez on suicide watch, did not notify a supervisor, and did not notify medical as to Ms. Gonzalez’s condition and/or that the required suicide screening form had not been completed.  Ms. Gonzalez was placed into a detox cell ten minutes after being received at the Midland County, Texas jail.

The booking security officer allegedly conducted periodic checks.  However, at one point, the officer chose to enter the cell and found that Ms. Gonzalez had committed suicide using jail-issued uniform pants.

Pre-trial detainees have a constitutional right to be provided with reasonable medical and mental healthcare.  If jailers are deliberately indifferent to a person’s medical or mental health issues, and the person is harmed as a result, then the person, or in the event of death the person’s family, might have claims for violation of the person’s rights under the United States constitution.  Those claims are typically brought through federal statute – 42 U.S.C. §1983.

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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.