Family of inmate accused of killing cellmate questions jail
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The brother of a Fort Worth man accused of killing an inmate in a jail cell is arguing that his brother shouldn’t have been housed with a cellmate because he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia and has hallucinations.
Brandon Flores told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that his brother David Flores, 43, belonged in psychiatric treatment, not at Tarrant County Jail where he’s accused of fatally beating 76-year-old Clinton Don Simpson.
Brandon Flores said his brother’s mental illness likely escalated in jail after feeling vulnerable and alone. Brandon Flores said David Flores had never been violent until October, when he was accused of hitting an elderly employee at a store.
Simpson was pronounced dead last week of blunt force head injuries. Simpson was serving a sentence for charges related to molesting children at “Mr. Don’s Whistle Stop,” a miniature train complex he owned and operated in his backyard.
Both Simpson and Flores were on suicide watch when the attack occurred.
“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Brandon Flores said. “I think someone has to be responsible for putting this guy in with my brother. I don’t know who gave the OK for that.”
David McClelland, chief of staff for Tarrant County’s sheriff, said it’s not unusual for more than one inmate on suicide watch to share a jail cell. Cells located in the jail’s medical wing, where Simpson and Flores were being held, can house up to four inmates on suicide watch, McClelland said.
He said mental health services agency My Health My Resources recommends placing inmates together because it’s more beneficial for them than solitary confinement.
McClelland said some jail staff members are on suspension while an internal investigation of Simpson’s death is ongoing.
Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com