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Investigations in Texas Jails This Week: Prisoners Released, Inmate Dies

Texas jails aren’t making the news as much as Texas prosecutors are these days (just check back over our last few posts) but apparently, it’s not for want of trying.  Texas jails are making national headlines for bad things, and it will be interesting to see what happens other than a slip-under-the-rug “mistakes were made” response.  Consider this:

Two New Texas Jails Investigations This Week

In Houston, Robert Gomez was arrested and jailed in Houston’s central jail on Riesner Street last Saturday night on a charge of public intoxication and sadly, took his own life by using his tee shirt as a means of hanging himself in his jail cell.  Gomez was allegedly “combative” with the cops on the ride downtown, so when he got there, the jailers put him in an individual cell.

Gomez had been checked out by jail medical staff before being put into his cell, and according to witnesses (which included prisoners in neighboring cells) Mr. Gomez tied his tee-shirts together and hung himself from the bars of his cell.

Right now, an autopsy has been ordered and the incident is being investigated by both the Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions of the Houston Police Department.

Meanwhile, over in San Antonio, jailers gave Rene Palomo a “get out of jail free” card this week, after he had been sitting in the Bexar County Jail since March 2011, facing burglary and robbery charges.  Last Friday, Palomo was sentenced – he got 6 years on the burglary, and the robbery charge was dropped.  After being sentenced over at the courthouse, Palomo returned to the jail and within hours, he was given his walking papers.

By Friday night, Mr. Palomo was free.  No news as to when and how the jailers figured out that Mr. Palomo had been sentenced to six years incarceration, but someone did. Saturday afternoon, the cops pulled up to Palomo’s home there in San Antonio, and took him back to jail.   An investigation has begun into how Palomo got released by the Bexar County Jail.

Oh, and Texas prosecutors this week? Indictment Deadline Missed, Murder Suspect Must Be Freed

Well, over in Fort Bend County,  the District Attorney’s Office did not get an indictment by the ninety (90) day deadline set under Texas law in a case where a teenaged boy was murdered.  The suspect was arrested, name of Richard Mendoza, and he went to jail.  However, he had to be released because the deadline was missed. By the prosecutor.

Seems that the murder was unsolved until August of this year, when the victim’s bones were found in a field and DNA testing was performed.  As a result of the DNA testing, Mendoza was arrested and jailed.  Now, as a result of the prosecutor missing a basic deadline, Mendoza has been released.

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