Inmate Laprense Willis (Full Name: Laprense Derell Willis) Died While In Custody At Hospital Galveston
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (January 4, 2024) - A 49-year-old inmate identified as Laprense Willis has tragically died following a medical emergency at Hospital Galveston.
TDCJ officials are saying that the incident began on November 28. Laprense Willis was taken to the hospital due to his medical condition.
He remained at the hospital for nearly one month, but his condition continued to decline. Sadly, Laprense Willis was later pronounced dead by medical staff.
His cause of death was listed as “Cardiogenic Shock.” A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Hospital Galveston Inmate Deaths
Heart related illnesses remain one of the leading causes of inmate death in the United States. According to the Journal of American Cardiology, “Currently, 2.2 million individuals are incarcerated, and more than 11 million have been released from U.S. correctional facilities. Individuals with a history of incarceration are more likely to be of racial and ethnic minority populations, poor, and have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors, especially smoking and hypertension.” There are a number of symptoms that an inmate may have if they are having a cardiac related emergency.
- Inmates may experience chest pain or discomfort.
- Inmates may experience body discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Inmates may break out in a cold sweat.
- Inmates may experience fatigue or shortness of breath.
- Inmates may suddenly become nauseous.
Depending on the facts of any case, a jail or private healthcare provider could be liable for the death of an inmate in their care. Jails must treat the serious medical needs of the inmates in their care. If the supervisory staff of a jail are aware of inadequate medical care that an inmate is getting and failed to take corrective action, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Many steps should be taken after any inmate death.
- Autopsy records related to the death should be reviewed.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- A civil rights attorney should be consulted.
Jail deaths are typically never the result of the negligence or inaction of just one person. Rather, it is more common that they occur due to systematic failures within the jail or healthcare system. This may be due to overcrowding or several other factors. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. Evidence will ultimately paint a clear picture of what may have contributed to an in-custody death.
Investigating Hospital Galveston Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Laprense Willis. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. The sheer number of inmate deaths across Texas remains deeply concerning. State officials need to do their part an implement greater oversight to prevent further death.
Do you need more information about a TDCJ inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help you. We are committed to helping people understand their rights and holding jails to account for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.