Local News

Mar 7, 2014 7:20 PM

Sheriff Says Inmate Death Investigations His Responsbility

CORPUS CHRISTI - Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin told KRIS-6 today that prison officials should have called him first, instead of the Texas Rangers, after an inmate died last week.

Trevor Nash was being held at the privately-owned LCS prison near Robstown on federal child pornography charges. He committed suicide either late Saturday or early Sunday.

It's the second time in two weeks a prisoner at the facility has committed suicide.

Kaelin spent today with officals from the U.S. Marshals and the Texas Rangers reminding them that when an inmate dies, it's his responsibility as Sheriff to take the lead in investigating a cause.

He said the only time a sheriff's office steps aside should be when there is a conflict of interest at play. That's when they call in the Rangers.

But this time, someone called in the Rangers and bypassed the Sheriff.

"This particular death just seemed strange just considering the charges against the inmate in which a lot of people would've wanted to do this person harm," Kaelin said on Friday.

Kaelin acknowledged the county makes about $1 million each year in it's custodial role over federal inmates at both the LCS-run prison here and another one in Hidalgo County.

But, he said this isn't a turf war with other law enforcement agencies. It's about the right public official being in a position to be held accountable to getting people the answers they need about an inmates death.

That includes the inmates' family members, he said.


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