Inmate Mario Munoz Died In Custody At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Estelle Unit In Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (November 12, 2023) - A 62-year-old man identified as Mario Munoz has tragically died at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Estelle Unit in Huntsville.
Walker County officials are saying that the incident began on October 12. Correctional officers noticed that Mario Munoz was unresponsive in his jail cell.
Jail and medical staff entered the cell and began life-saving measures. Emergency medical services also arrived at the scene.
Despite life-saving measures, Mario Munoz was pronounced dead at the scene by Emergency Medical Services. A full investigation into the death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Walker County Jail Deaths
Texas has one of the highest instances of in-custody deaths in the United States. According to CBS News, “Since 2016, there have been more than 5,900 in-custody deaths in the State of Texas. That number includes any inmate death at a jail or prison, as well as when a person is being arrested. An analysis by the nonprofit Texas Justice Initiative shows that the majority of these deaths were from natural causes or illness.” There are a number of steps that jails should take to prevent in-custody deaths.
- Jails should perform a thorough health screening on all inmates.
- Jails should develop clear protocols to get inmates to the hospital when they need more extensive care.
- Jails should collect and analyze data on in-custody deaths so that steps can be taken to prevent similar deaths.
All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with reasonably adequate care for their health conditions. This includes care for chronic illnesses that inmates have. When a jail neglects the healthcare needs that an inmate has, this could easily lead to a death or serious injury. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many health issues that could contribute to an inmate death.
- Drug overdoses
- Drug withdrawal
- Heart attacks
- Septic shock
- Respiratory illnesses
Jails are supposed to perform welfare checks on inmates every 30 minutes or so. If correctional officers find an inmate unresponsive, this typically indicates that they were not being looked after properly. People almost never become seriously ill out of nowhere. More often than not, there are signs which indicate a health emergency is imminent. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim.
Investigating Walker County Jail Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mario Munoz. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of the victim’s family.
Do you need more information about a Walker County jail death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.