People get locked up, and sometimes people die while in law enforcement custody.
The Denton Record-Chronicle wants the public to know who has died while in the custody of the Denton County Jail and how they died, so the paper is building a database of all the deaths ever recorded by the jail and medical examiners.
Starting with a look back over the past decade, the newspaper obtained public records — jail custody death records and autopsy reports from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office — to give the public an authoritative understanding of who has died and how.
This database will expand; other deaths will be added. And the newspaper encourages family members, friends, cellmates and others to share their stories of the people who died while in custody. Contact the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org and 940-566-6860, or the crime reporter at email@example.com and 940-566-6882.
Here is a list of people who have died in the past 10 years while in the custody of the Denton County Jail.
Stacy Wright, 49
Booked into the jail on Dec. 28, 2018. He died two days later.
According to the Denton County Sheriff’s Office custodial death report, Wright was taken to Medical City Denton after he complained of shortness of breath and abdominal pain on the morning of Dec. 29. He was brought back to the jail later that day. The next morning, at 8:11 a.m., he was found unresponsive by jail staff. The Denton Fire Department was dispatched, and crews tried to save him.
Wright was pronounced dead at 8:40 a.m. Dec. 30, 2018.
Tarrant County medical examiner’s listed cause of death: hypertensive and ischemic heart disease
Calvin Coolidge McKinney, 44
Booked into the jail on May 14, 2014. He died a day later.
Authorities say McKinney’s symptoms began early in the morning on May 15. Reports show he was taken to the jail infirmary about 1 a.m. with a sore throat, sinus pain, and difficulty swallowing and breathing while lying on his back. He was given Tylenol and Mucinex, a custodial death report shows. He was back in his pod within the hour.
About 2:15 a.m., he collapsed. Medical staff arrived and found a weak pulse. Denton firefighters arrived within about 15 minutes and worked to resuscitate McKinney until he was pronounced dead.
McKinney was pronounced dead at 2:45 a.m. May 15, 2014.
TCME cause of death: heart attack; and hepatic cirrhosis and steatosis, chronic alcoholism
Clyde Alex Redman, 61
Booked into the jail on Aug. 29, 2012. He died two months later.
Jail staff say Redman on Oct. 4 signed a waiver to stop taking all his medications. His blood pressure was reportedly evaluated and was normal from then. A couple weeks later, on Oct. 31, he was found unconscious about 5:45 a.m., a custodial death report shows. An autopsy report shows he collapsed at breakfast. Medical staff worked to resuscitate him with CPR. Denton firefighters arrived and took him to Medical City Denton.
Redman was pronounced dead at the hospital at 6:36 a.m. Oct. 31, 2012.
TCME cause of death: heart attack
Carl Chadwick Snell, 39
Booked into the jail on Dec. 12, 2014. He died three months later.
A custodial death report shows Snell was found just before 4 a.m. March 7, 2015, with a “piece of mattress cover” tied around his neck while sitting on a toilet in his cell. The other end of the mattress cover was tied around a cell bar. Within 20 minutes of being found, Snell was pronounced dead despite efforts to resuscitate him, records show.
He had been indicted days later. Written on a copy of his indictment were the words: “You Win.”
Snell was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. March 7, 2015.
TCME cause of death: suicide by hanging
Kenneth Zimmerman, 67
Booked into the jail on Sept. 3, 2014. He died a month later.
Zimmerman was diagnosed with a lung mass more than a year before arriving at the jail, an autopsy report shows. Just after midnight on Oct. 2, 2014, jailers noted he was having trouble breathing. The autopsy reports that Denton firefighters noted Zimmerman reported not feeling well for two days prior. At about 9:24 a.m. that day, he vomited into a trash can and then was taken to the infirmary, a custodial death report shows. He was thereafter driven to Medical City Denton, where he was admitted in severe condition with difficulty breathing and chest pains, reports show. He died later that night at the hospital.
Zimmerman was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. Oct. 2, 2014.
TCME cause of death: complications from lung cancer
Ronald Eugene Wilkinson, 60
Booked into the jail on June 19, 2012. He died seven months later.
A custodial death report shows an inmate told a jailer the morning of Jan. 15, 2013, that Wilkinson was making a strange noise while breathing. Within minutes, records show, medical staff called for an ambulance. He was driven to Medical City Denton, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour after jail staff were alerted to his condition.
Wilkinson was pronounced dead at 1:58 p.m. Jan. 15, 2013.
TCME cause of death: heart attack
Willie Caldwell, 66
Booked into the jail on June, 1, 2009. He died two months later.
The only notes from Caldwell’s custodial death report show he was taken to the infirmary “complaining of nausea, headache and dizziness.” No date or time is listed on that visit. The report shows Caldwell went into cardiac arrest at some time on Aug. 12, 2009, and was driven to an unspecified hospital.
Caldwell died at 9:23 a.m. Aug. 12, 2009.
TCME cause of death: heart attack
Cheryl Ann Payne, 48
Booked into the jail on Oct. 6, 2016. She died about three weeks later.
An inmate told a jailer that Payne was having a seizure at about 2:55 p.m. Oct. 16, a custodial jail death report shows. She was observed shaking and her arms tensing. Payne was taken to the infirmary within minutes as Denton firefighters arrived, taking over resuscitation efforts, records show. She was driven to Medical City Denton. She died in the hospital, an autopsy report shows.
Payne died at 2:35 p.m. Oct. 24, 2016.
TCME cause of death: seizure disorder with head trauma and alcoholism
Jerry Wayne Bridwell, 47
Booked into the jail on March 9, 2016. He died about two weeks later.
A custodial death record indicates jailers found Bridwell hanging in his cell at about 2:41 p.m. March 20. A “strip of fabric” was tied around his neck, the other end tied to a TV shelf, records show. Staff cut the fabric and began trying to resuscitate him. Denton firefighters arrived and drove him to Medical City Denton. He died while in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Bridwell was pronounced dead at 9:29 p.m. March 21, 2016.
TCME cause of death: hanging
Deborah Renee Seaman, 46
Booked into the jail on May 31, 2018. She died three weeks later.
The Denton County Sheriff’s Office custodial death report says Seaman was driven to Medical City Denton “for altered mental status.” An autopsy report shows she had collapsed while in the jail. The custodial death report shows Seaman was booked into the jail exhibiting signs of physical as well as mental health problems, though those details were not made available.
She died at 3 p.m. June 21, 2018.
TCME cause of death: multisystem organ failure
Ernst Tyler Reinhold, 31
Booked into the jail on April 7, 2018. He died almost two weeks later.
A custodial death report shows Reinhold collapsed while in a pod on April 21. The Denton Fire Department took him to Medical City Denton.
Reinhold was pronounced dead at 3:57 p.m. April 22, 2018.
TCME cause of death: endocarditis with septic embolization
Stephen Ryan McCormack, 35
Booked into the jail on Aug. 30, 2017. He died about three weeks later.
A sheriff’s office custodial report shows McCormack came to the jail from Lewisville police. Jail staff said he became ill on Aug. 30 and “admitted to ingesting two ‘caps’ of GHB,” a central nervous system depressant. Jail staff reportedly checked in on him with a heightened sense of awareness, moving him from a holding cell to an observation area, records show. Later that day, McCormack was found unresponsive, requiring the Denton Fire Department to respond and take him to Medical City Denton.
Jail records show he was released from Denton County Sheriff’s Office custody on Sept. 1 after he was admitted to the hospital.
McCormack died at 6:47 p.m. Sept. 5, 2017.
TCME cause of death: methamphetamine intoxication
Stormye Murphey, 30
Booked into the jail on Aug. 3, 2017. She died two days later.
A Denton County Sheriff’s Office custodial death report shows Murphey was found with a mattress cover wrapped around her neck at about 11:10 a.m. Aug. 15. The mattress cover was tied to a TV stand near a cell door, the report shows. After being driven to Medical City Denton at 11:34 a.m., Murphey was pronounced dead by a hospital doctor.
Murphey was pronounced dead at 11:46 a.m. Aug. 15, 2017.
Cause of death: asphyxia
Michael Ryan Eugenio, 28
Booked into the jail on Oct. 28, 2016. He died about a week later.
An autopsy report shows Eugenio reported having heroin withdrawal symptoms as he was booked into the jail. On Oct. 30, a jailer observed Eugenio slump to the back of a toilet as he was trying to use the bathroom. The sheriff’s office custodial death report shows the jailer “noticed a brown liquid coming from [Eugenio’s] mouth.” Medical staff could not find a pulse on Eugenio, the report shows. Responding Denton firefighters took him to Medical City Denton, where he was put on a ventilator.
On Nov. 1, the custodial death report shows, a warrant for Eugenio’s arrest was withdrawn and he technically left the custody of Denton County Sheriff’s Office. The next day, he died.
Eugenio died at 12:59 p.m. Nov. 2, 2016.
TCME cause of death: ischemic heart disease and hepatic cirrhosis, hepatitis B and C, heroin abuse
Michael Stolz, 77
Booked into the jail on July 12, 2013. He died five months later.
After months in the Denton County Jail, Stolz needed to be taken to Medical City Denton after suffering a low blood-sugar episode. He was admitted with low blood pressure and low body core temperatures and spent about a month in the hospital, a custodial death report shows. He was eventually placed on life support, with jailers watching over him at the hospital.
Stolz was pronounced dead at 8:22 p.m. Dec. 8, 2013.
Cause of death: cardiac arrest and respiratory distress, according to the sheriff’s office
Kenneth Myers, 64
Booked into the jail on May 26, 2017. He died a week later.
A Denton County Sheriff’s Office custodial death report indicates Myers came to the jail and complained of abdominal pain for two days before he was taken to an emergency room. He had to have surgery for a bowel obstruction. Myers never recovered from the surgery, the report shows.
Myers was pronounced dead at 3:26 a.m. June 3, 2017
Cause of death: ischemic bowel, according to the sheriff’s office
Deandre Davis, 33
Booked into the jail on Dec. 15, 2016. He died about three weeks later.
A sheriff’s office custodial death report shows Davis came to the Denton County Jail with health complications associated with kidney failure and low blood pressure. Medical staff took him to Medical City Denton on Dec. 17. He was treated and released back to the jail 10 days later. The next day, he underwent dialysis treatment when he became unstable, the report shows. Davis was taken back to Medical City Denton until he was taken off life support.
Davis was pronounced dead at 4:44 a.m. Jan. 3, 2017 at the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.
Cause of death: kidney failure, according to the sheriff’s office