3/13/2013 | Houston Chronicle – A county jail inmate was pronounced dead at a Houston hospital early Wednesday morning after he was found hanging in his cell, a Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman confirmed.
The inmate was discovered alone in his cell on the second floor of the 1200 Baker Street jail at 10 minutes before midnight Tuesday by a jailer making his rounds, said spokeswoman Christina Garza. He was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced dead about 1:30 a.m.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences identified the man as Alex Guzman, 28, of Houston.
Staff there said deputies told them that Guzman used a ligature to hang himself from the ceiling of his cell.
Garza said the inmate was arrested last month by Houston police on a retaliation charge.
The apparent suicide will be investigated by the Sheriff’s Office’s internal affairs division, and will include a review of jailers’ actions prior to the death, Garza confirmed. She said Guzman had not been on a suicide watch.
“The internal investigation that the sheriff’s office will be conducting will look into several factors including when was he last checked, how is it that he hung himself, if that is indeed how he died, and any other relevant information surrounding the case,” the spokeswoman said.
“We will have to speak to everyone who was on shift at that hour at that location,” Garza said, “and see what exactly what they did, if they did do what they were supposed to do.”