Inmate Bruce Edwards, 58, Died After Medical Emergency At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Beto Unit In Tennessee Colony
ANDERSON COUNTY, TEXAS (December 6, 2023) - A 58-year-old inmate identified as Bruce Edwards has tragically died in custody at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Beto Unit in Tennessee Colony.
Walker County officials are saying that the incident took place around 7:30 a.m. on December 8. Jail staff noticed that Bruce Edwards was unresponsive in his cell.
Security staff began life-saving measures and the inmate was transported to the jail infirmary. Sadly, Bruce Edwards was later pronounced dead by medical staff.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Tennessee Colony Inmate Deaths
There has been a large uptick of unexplained medical deaths at Texas jails in the last several months. According to KXAN, “Nexstar analyzed the 135 reports involving deaths in TDCJ prisons, the majority of which are not air-conditioned, amid concerns that this summer’s extreme heat may be exacerbating or triggering medical issues. Custodial death reports from the Texas Attorney General’s Office show at least 51 people appear to have died after a sudden and unforeseen medical distress in the last two and half months.” There are a number of medical events that could lead to an inmate’s death.
- Cardiac events such as heart attacks
- Respiratory issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Drug overdoses and drug withdrawal
- Positional asphyxia while being restrained
One of the most common causes of inmate death is medical neglect. One of the ways that jails are suppose to care for inmates is to perform regular welfare checks. But there have been a number of situations where correctional officers failed to perform required welfare checks. In one situation in Los Angeles, officers were busy watching YouTube videos on their computers while an inmate in their care died. There are many steps that jails should take to prevent inmate deaths.
- Correctional officers should be trained to recognize when an inmate is in medical distress.
- Jails should have clear policies and guidelines for how to respond when an inmate is in medical distress.
- Jails should have access to Nalaxone which can be used to reverse the effects of overdoses.
When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Despite legal requirements, many jails fail to give inmates proper care. This is often due to overcrowding and other systemic issues. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Tennessee Colony Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Bruce Edwards. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of this man’s family. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Walker County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that jails are doing everything that they can to protect the inmates entrusted to them. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can contact us anytime at 214-987-4100.