HOUSTON (FOX 26) - New developments on a story we brought you on Wednesday when FOX 26 News spoke exclusively with the woman whose fiancée died while in custody. Now a former chief deputy with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office cast shadows of doubt on jail procedures. The former deputy says he spoke with an inside source who says the fiancée has every reason to question if her partner's death could have been prevented.
"What do you do?," asked Ashley Yates while crying. "We had a child as teenagers I've known him my whole entire life." She is now left to care for five children on her own. Along with grieving, Yates is determined to seek justice. And now a former deputy says there's a good reason for concern.
"What is known from my standpoint and my sources within the jail is that there was a 2.5 -to-3 hour period where the man was not checked on. And I think an competent attorney will have a field day with this investigation," said Craig Brady. He added that his source told him that whoever made rounds on the morning that 33-year-old Eugene Ethridge died had falsified documents. Just a week ago, Brady filed an open records request because he believes this happens far too often.
"In this case, like several others in the recent past, the round sheets are forged, the rounds are not being done," said Brady. He also said that if the jail did what they are required to do, there's a greater chance this man wouldn't have died.
"Nobody can say for sure whether this man would have still been alive if the rounds were made properly, but there's a greater chance he could have been resuscitated and possibly saved had he been found in a much quicker time span," said Brady.
FOX 26 brought this straight to the attention of Deputy Chief David Marcaurele. He spoke with FOX 26 off camera and says Brady's claims are quote "unprofessional," especially coming from a former officer. He added that right now, it's too early in the investigation to determine if there was a breach in protocol. He also said that his office does take this death seriously and want to see the full report first before they determine whether or not someone is at fault.
The chief believes the investigation will wrap up quickly and he said at this point, there's no indication foul play was involved.