By Kathi Bliss
An inmate of the Caldwell County Jail apparently suffered a heart attack and died while in county custody last week, Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law announced on Monday.
The inmate, identified as George Ramirez, 70, of Burnet County, was pronounced dead on Jan. 6, 2013, at around 9 p.m. by Caldwell County Justice of the Peace Matt Keily.
According to reports from the jail, Ramirez evidently lost consciousness in his cell around 8:25 p.m. on Jan. 6, striking his head on something in his cell as he fell. Medical and corrections officers responded and placed him in a wheelchair to take him for attention in the medical office.
When he regained consciousness, they said, he complained of chest pain. Ramirez later lost consciousness again, stopped breathing and began to turn blue. Officers then began CPR and called for and ambulance to transport him to a medical facility.
Attempts to resuscitate Ramirez failed, and he was pronounced dead by Keily, who ordered his body transported to Central Texas Autopsy.
Though final reports from the autopsy may be available in as little as a week, it could take as many as six weeks for full toxicology tests to be returned, Keily said. However, the coroner’s initial findings reflect that Ramirez was “not in good health,” was suffering from heart disease, and succumbed to a heart attack.
Though no wrongdoing or foul play is suspected, the Texas Rangers have been contacted to perform an outside investigation into the death, as is customary with all in-custody deaths. The results of that investigation will be reported to Caldwell County District Attorney Trey Hicks.
Jail records reflect that Ramirez was transferred to the Caldwell County Jail and has been incarcerated there since April 12, 2012. He was being held on charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. Although records reflect he had entered a plea agreement in connection with the charge, he had not yet been sentenced in connection with that agreement.