New info on suspected cop killer

September 1, 2009 5:23:44 PM PDT
There's new information about the murder of a Pasadena police officer. Some who knew the suspected killer say the deadly confrontation could have been prevented. Eyewitness News has obtained a copy of a letter written by inmates who were in jail with Sergio Robles in the days before the shooting. A spokesperson with the Harris County Sheriff's office tells us they were not aware that the letter even existed until we brought it to their attention. While they say a grievance was never filed, they did confirm to us that an internal affairs investigation is underway into Robles' stay at the jail.

Charged with the murder of Pasadena Police Officer Jesse Hamilton back on August 21, Sergio Robles was released from jail on a DWI charge just hours before the shooting. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, his mother called police that morning because she was worried about her son's behavior.

On Monday, Eyewitness News received a two page letter signed by 19 inmates who say they were in the Harris County jail with Robles. The letter claims that while Robles acted normally when he arrived, there were radical changes in his behavior over the course of his 15 day stay.

The letter states, "Due to the fact that he was repeatedly denied medication, despite constantly inquiring about it, his mood changed dramatically. He appeared to be isolated, forgetful, paranoid, and not aware of his surroundings at times."

According to the letter, "(Robles) was bipolar, schizophrenic, and suffered from depression for which he took Abilify (an anti-depressant). ... It almost seems to be certain that the time Sergio Robles spent in Harris County (jail) was detrimental to his health, his well being, and his frame of mind and quite possibly could have affected his judgment leading up to and during the morning of August 21st."

A spokesperson with the sheriff's office told Eyewitness News it is unclear whether the medical staff knew or whether they were even told that Robles was taking any medication.

Christina Garza with HCSO said, "We are looking at, obviously, the contact that inmate had with staff and any other inmates while here at the Harris County jail, medical records, if any, and any other reports that may have been generated on that inmate."

While the sheriff's office would not comment on this case specifically, we've learned such claims are not unfounded some 12,000 medications are dispensed to inmates on a daily basis each year. So far this year, 135 complaints have been filed from inmates related to medications. That includes everything from a delay in receiving meds and not receiving them at all, to missed doses or receiving the wrong meds.

Garza said, "At any point an inmate feels like they need any type of medical attention, they are certainly encouraged to let our staff members know so that they are taken down to the medical services division and given any medication if necessary."

The sheriff's office says they decided to investigate Robles after hearing that a police officer had been killed by an inmate who'd been housed at the jail. Our attempts to reach the inmates who signed the letter were unsuccessful.

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