Inmate Jakob Pennington (Full Name: Jakob Dalton Pennington) Died In Custody At Texas Department of Criminal Justice McConnel Unit In Beeville
BEE COUNTY, TEXAS (December 6, 2023) - A 29-year-old inmate identified as Jakob Pennington has tragically died while in custody at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice McConnel Unit in Beeville.
Bee County officials are saying that the incident began at 10:20 p.m. on November 30. Correctional officers discovered that Jakob Pennington was unresponsive in his own single man cell on the McConnell Unit.
Jail medical staff began life-saving measures, but those efforts were not successful. Jakob Pennington was later pronounced dead by responding paramedics.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Beeville Inmate Deaths
Thousands of people die each year in jails across the United States. Many of these inmates were never even convicted of a crime when they died. According to Reuters, “Unlike state and federal prisons, which hold people convicted of serious crimes, jails are locally run lockups meant to detain people awaiting arraignment or trial, or those serving short sentences. The toll of jail inmates who die without a case resolution subverts a fundamental tenet of the U.S. criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty.” There are a number of factors that could contribute to an in-custody death.
- Inmate deaths are more likely to occur at jails that are overcrowded.
- Inmate deaths are more likely to occur with inmates that have pre-existing health conditions
- Inmate deaths are more likely to occur when jails fail to properly monitor inmates.
- Inmate deaths are more likely to occur at institutions where correctional officers are poorly trained.
The Supreme Court has held that failing to give inmates access to healthcare is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. It is therefore prohibited by the constitution. Despite this, many inmates are not properly cared for prior to their death. This is particularly true with respects to inmates suffering from drug or alcohol intoxication. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate death.
- Jail medical records should be sought.
- Surveillance footage should be reviewed.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
Jails often label in-custody deaths as natural. But this designation can often be highly misleading. Moreover, a disproportionate number of these so-called “natural” deaths involve people in their 20’s and 30’s. In many circumstances, inmate deaths involve some amount of jail medical neglect. 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 free of cost and let you know if any death was due to improper jail care.
Investigating Beeville Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jakob Pennington. This was a deeply unfortunate tragedy that should have never taken place. It is our sincere hope that there will be greater oversight of Bee County jails so that other deaths can be prevented.
Do you need more information about a Bee County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here for you. We’ve spent decades fighting for people who have been harmed by the abuse and neglect of prison officials. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.