The case is being closely watched by other Texas counties.
Sempe, 30, was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in Lancaster. When he couldn't afford his $200 bond, he was placed in a holding tank with 46 other men, including felons, records show. The tank's capacity was 24 inmates.
Darrell Keith Hartfield was convicted of second-degree murder in Sempe's death and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He served about a year and a half of that sentence before he was released on parole; he later returned to prison for violating parole conditions.