71-year-old suffering from terminal illness dies in custody at Harris County Jail, deputies say

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An inmate serving time at the Harris County Jail died at the hospital on Tuesday, according to the sheriff's office.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said 71-year-old Harold Shell was sent to Beb Taub Hospital for stomach pain at about 2:06 a.m.

HCSO said Shell had suffered from a terminal illness, and died at the hospital.

It is unclear which illness Shell was suffering from, but deputies said his death has been reported to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

Shell's cause of death will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

The 71-year-old had been in custody for 83 days for possession of a controlled substance and a motion to revoke parole.

The Houston Police Department is investigating the death due to state law that requires all jail deaths to be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency.

The Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Division is also investigating to determine whether all applicable policies and procedures were followed, which is standard following the death of a person in jail.