'Zero closure': Evan Lee's mother calls for 'some resolution' after son's autopsy revealed

Pooja Lodhia Image
Friday, September 15, 2023 11:30PM
Long-awaited autopsy report rules Harris Co. inmate's death a homicide
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Evan Lee's death was ruled a homicide after he was killed while in Harris County Jail custody, an autopsy report shows.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Eyewitness News has received the full autopsy report on the murder of Evan Lee, who was killed while in the custody of the Harris County Jail in 2022.

His death has been ruled a homicide, with blunt head trauma listed as the cause of death.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed in the past year, alleging negligence at the jail, but no criminal charges have been brought.

Lee was pronounced dead on March 22, 2022.

Detectives said he was involved in a fight while in jail, and the autopsy from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences supports that, showing a swollen head and brain.

No drugs were in Lee's system when he was killed, and he was relatively healthy, the autopsy report showed.

County officials have refused to release the full autopsy for months. Now, his mother said she is also seeing it for the first time.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 'Harris County jail has failed': Mom wants answers after inmate son was put on life support

"I have no closure. Zero closure for Evan's death. And 2022," Jacilet Griffin, Lee's mother, said. "And I think that there should be some type of transparency, some resolution."

There have been 11 deaths in Harris County Jail custody so far this year, according to the sheriff's office. That's down from 19 deaths at this time last year.

On Aug. 28, state officials found the Harris County jail noncompliant with state standards. The jail was cited for:

  • Not booking inmates within 48 hours;
  • Observation issues: All inmates are supposed to be observed every 60 minutes, but even in areas where inmates are known to be dangerous or mentally ill, officials say staffers were up to two hours and 38 minutes late;
  • Not meeting minimum staffing requirements of one officer to every 48 inmates.

RELATED: Harris Co. Jail's reported continued non-compliance comes after 4 inmates died in January alone

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RELATED: Mother of Harris County inmate who died in custody questions what happened: 'We just need to know'