Smith County inmate dies in custody

SMITH COUNTY - The Texas Rangers are now investigating the death of an inmate at the Smith County Jail.

A Smith County Sheriff's Office Detention Officer found 21-year-old Carlos Jose Hernandez, Jr. of Troup hanging from the shower from a ligature early Monday morning. Jail staff called a code blue, however, Hernandez was pronounced dead a short time later by Tyler Fire personnel and EMS.

Hernandez was booked into the Smith County Jail on Sunday, charged with possession of marijuana, possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substance and also had an ICE hold. Total bonds were $8,500, however he couldn't bond out due to the ICE hold.

Due to his response to pre-booking questions, Hernandez was placed in a side cell on suicide watch with 10-minute observations. A check of the observation logs and video camera footage found the side cell observations had been made properly and timely within the prescribed time period. Hernandez had been last checked at 12:02 a.m. and 12:11 a.m. and was observed to be sleeping. It was during the 12:20 a.m. check that Hernandez was found hanging by a ligature from the shower in the single man side cell.

No further information will be released at this time, pending the completion of an investigation by the Texas Rangers.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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