By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – An inmate death initially reported as a suicide was ruled, ultimately, to be a homicide.
In the August 11 edition of the Booster, it was reported that an inmate at the Gib Lewis Unit died from what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds.
The 42-year-old inmate, identified as Justin Levi Gallaway, was found dead in his cell with a noose around his neck. His body was sent to Galveston for an autopsy to be conducted.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Jim Moore said the death is still under investigation, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice oversees such investigations that occur within TDCJ facilities.
The death certificate obtained by the Booster states that the death occurred at 8:20 p.m. on August 5, and under a description of the fatal injury it lists “noose around neck causing asphyxiation.”
Amanda Hernandez, who serves as TDCJ Director of Communications, said that the Office of the Inspector General is investigating the death. A request for information from that agency had not been answered at press time.
At the time the death was reported, initially, Hernandez did state that “Life saving measures were initiated, additional staff were requested and 911 was contacted.”
Once paramedics arrived, the EMS supervisor was contacted by one of the paramedics on the scene, who pronounced the man dead.
Galloway’s death was the second reported at Gib Lewis in the summer months this year. On June 27, another death occurred at the prison, when a corrections officer was confirmed dead due to a self-inflicted injury.