'Will we ever know what happened to him?' Mom of man who died in custody in 2022 pleads for answers

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
How did he die? Mom of man who died in HCSO custody pleads for answers
The mother of Evan Griffin Lee, a man who died while in custody at the Harris County Jail, pleads for answers nearly 500 days after his death.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Rangers have completed an investigation into the death of Evan Griffin Lee, who died in custody at the Harris County Jail last March.

After all this time, his family said they still don't know how he died, and nobody has been held accountable.

"What if all the bodies would be just there lying in front of the Harris County Jail?" Jacilet Griffin asked. "Would they do something?"

For nearly 500 days, Griffin has been working to answer what she thought would be a simple question: How did her son die?

"From that day, my eyes have not received proper sleep," she said. "I'm unable to rest."

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Evan Griffin Lee was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Detectives said while in jail, he was involved in a fight and then taken to the hospital.

Four days later, on March 22, 2022, Lee was pronounced dead.

The medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide.

More than a year later, the Texas Rangers completed an investigation last week, and a spokesperson says the findings have been turned over to the District Attorney's office.

"Will we ever know what happened to him? Will we ever be able to lie down and know exactly what happened to our loved one? And as a mother, my child, it is bothersome, and it hurts. It's very painful to have to deal with it," Griffin said.

Eyewitness News has reached out to multiple county agencies, but offices are closed Monday due to the county holiday.

13 Investigates has been covering this story since March 2022 and has also been denied multiple requests for autopsy information.

Twenty-seven people died in Harris County Jail custody last year, and six more have died so far in 2023.

"They don't deserve that. And 2023, 6 deaths," Griffin said. "I don't know the cause of them, but I know they have not seen a judge, and a judge has not given them a death penalty, and they don't deserve the death penalty."

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