Receive alerts from your local agencies
...or text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts

Full Notification

Harris County Sheriff's Office
Monday February 13th, 2023 :: 01:28 p.m. CST


FBI Agrees to Review Pair of Jail Deaths

Feb. 13, 2023 – The FBI has accepted Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’s request to review two deaths that occurred inside the Harris County Jail.
“Last week, I reached out to James Smith, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Field Office, to have his agents review the circumstances surrounding two men’s deaths in our jail because I want our community to fully trust our commitment to transparency and full accountability,” Sheriff Gonzalez said. “I look forward to learning the FBI’s findings, because we must all know the full truth if we are to improve our operation and make the jail as safe as possible for everyone entrusted into our care.”
Specifically, the FBI will review the deaths of Jaquaree Simmons in February 2021 and Jacoby Pillow in January 2023. 
An internal Sheriff’s Office investigation into Simmons’ death uncovered multiple policy violations by staff that resulted in Sheriff Gonzalez’s decision to terminate 11 employees and suspend 6 others in May 2021.

The Houston Police Department conducted a criminal investigation into Simmons’ death, leading to the recent indictment of former detention officer Eric Niles Morales on a charge of manslaughter.
Pillow, 31, was in the process of being released from jail on bond on Jan. 3 when he was accused of assaulting a detention officer. Jail staff used force to restrain Pillow in an effort to regain control of him.

Pillow was then evaluated by medical staff and then returned to a cell. He was later found unresponsive in his cell and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Pillow’s cause of death is still pending with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. His death is also being investigated by the Houston Police Department.

Harris County Sheriff's Office
1200 Baker St
Houston, TX 77002

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 713-221-6000

Navigate & Discover