32-year-old dies after asking for medical help in Harris County Jail, sheriff's office says

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Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Jail still non-compliant after latest check, sheriff's office says
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards spent the week inspecting the under-fire Harris County Jail six months after an original notice of non-compliance, the sheriff's office said.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- An investigation is underway after a man died in the Harris County Jail on Tuesday, according to the sheriff's office.

The video above is from a previous report.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that 32-year-old Robert Terry died after suffering "an apparent medical emergency."

Deputies said Terry collapsed at about 6:20 a.m. after asking to see the Harris Health medical staff.

Harris Health then assisted him before he was taken to the hospital, where he later died at about 7:32 a.m.

HCSO said Terry had no obvious physical injuries. It is unclear what Terry was in custody for, but he had been in jail since May 13.

RELATED: Harris Co. inmates wait too long to get into jail, fix costs you millions

The Texas Rangers are investigating the death in accordance with state law that requires all jail deaths to be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency. Terry's death has been reported to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

"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," HCSO said in part of a news release.

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

The incident marks the sixth reported death at the Harris County Jail this year. Earlier this year, Eyewitness News covered back-to-back deaths in January and an apparent suicide that happened in March.

In February, the jail's improved cleanliness after the four deaths in January was not enough to drop them from the state inspectors' non-compliance list.

WATCH: Sheriff Ed Gonzalez sits down with 13 investigates to answer concerns of Harris Co. jail conditions

A record 27 people died in the custody of the Harris County Jail last year, and in January, four more died at the jail. There were no deaths at the jail in February.