Texas Rangers, a Justice of the Peace and Smith County Sheriff’s Office crime scene investigators were called in to process a scene at the Smith County Jail early on Monday, June 12. An inmate had died due to an apparent suicide by hanging.
Jail staff found Carlos Jose Hernandez Jr, 21, of Troup, dead in his cell at about 12:20 a.m. Justice of the Peace Judge Quincy Beavers was called after medical personnel were on the scene. Following his inquest, Beavers ordered that an autopsy be completed by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas.
Hernandez had been placed in a side cell on suicide watch so he could be monitored. He had responded to questions from officers upon his booking that gave them concern for his safety.
Jail records show that Hernandez had been looked in on less than 10 minutes before his body was found and all was well.
Hernandez had been booked into the Smith County Jail on June 11 on various charges including Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia. He was also placed on an Immigration Customs Enforcement detainer.
Jail records showed previous arrests in February 2017 and December 2016.
At press time, the Texas Rangers’ investigation was still ongoing.