If Patrick Joseph Brown only had $3,000 to bail himself out of jail, he could be alive today.
The 46-year-old Texas man, who had no prior violent record, was arrested on misdemeanor theft charges for allegedly stealing a guitar.
After bail was set and Brown indicated he couldn’t pay it, he was left with two other inmates in a holding cell.
Although prisoners are supposed be checked on every 15 minutes, Brown and the other two inmates — Curtis Maxwell, 23, and Ebenezer Nah, 26 — were somehow left unattended for several hours. During that time, Maxwell and Nah allegedly beat Brown until he was unconscious. He died at the hospital a short time later.
Nah posted bond and was released before police realized his involvement in Brown’s beatdown and death.
“It’s not until we reviewed the video that we found out exactly what happened,” said Sheriff Ron Hickman.
Maxwell and Nah were charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, which could be upgraded once an official cause of death for Brown has been released.
Harris County Jail has a reputation of neglecting inmates and was previously the subject of a Justice Department investigation in 2009. But the sheriff has pointed to a staffing shortage as the problem.
Photos from left: Curtis Maxwell and Ebenezer Nah (Photo: Harris County Jail)
(Photos from top to bottom: Getty Images, Harris County Jail)