2 people die while awaiting trial in Harris County Jail

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Two people have died this week while awaiting trial in Harris County jail custody, officials said.

One man died on Monday, Nov. 13, after suffering a medical emergency in a local hospital. Officials said he was hospitalized for a preexisting medical condition.

Officials said Robert Shelton, 60, was transported by the Houston Fire Department EMS to a local hospital on Oct. 29, because of a medical emergency. On Nov. 13, at 3:59 p.m., he was pronounced dead at the medical facility. Shelton had no apparent physical injuries. He had been in jail since July 19.

A woman died Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 12:03 p.m. after being transported to a local hospital due to a medical emergency on Tuesday. Rachelle Mitchell, 42, had been in jail since April 24. She had no apparent physical injuries.

The deaths are being investigated by the Texas Rangers in accordance with state law that requires all jail deaths to be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency.

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The Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Division is also investigating the deaths to determine whether all applicable policies and procedures were followed, which is standard following the death of a person in jail. The inmate's cause of death will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

In addition, the deaths have been reported to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.