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Harris County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday August 9th, 2023 :: 03:31 p.m. CDT


Man in Jail Custody Dies at Hospital

A man died Wednesday after a detention officer found him unconscious in his jail cell.
Evidence recovered from the single-person cell indicate the possible presence of narcotics. The Texas Rangers are conducting an independent investigation into the death of David Garner, 25, as required by state law. Garner’s cause of death is pending completion of an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
A detention officer was delivering lunch when he spotted Garner unconscious in his cell at 10:36 a.m. Another detention officer performed CPR on Garner as a Houston Fire Department ambulance crew made its way to the jail. Garner was then taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 11:45 a.m.
Garner had been in jail since his arrest on a capital murder charge on May 27, 2020.
The Sheriff’s Office has recently increased efforts to prevent the introduction of illegal narcotics into the jail. Those efforts include increased screening of incoming mail, jail visitors, and employees. Additional investigators have also been assigned to track the sources of illegal drugs in the jail and file charges when warranted. On Monday, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez distributed a video message to all employees to emphasize the importance of keeping dangerous drugs out of the jail.
“I know that the vast majority of our teammates chose this noble profession because they want to serve the community they love,” Sheriff Gonzalez said. “It’s my job to make sure these people feel safe and secure, and that means ridding our jail of illegal contraband, no matter the source. Moving forward, please know that our commitment to safety for everyone in the jail has never been stronger.”

The increase in drug-related medical emergencies in the jail reflects a national and local trend. Last year, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, including over 1,000 in Harris County.

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

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

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