Gay Houston man dies while in Galveston jail

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A gay Houston man died in the Galveston County Jail, with his family accusing jailers of contributing to the seizure that killed him by not administering his prescribed medication.

Jesse Jacobs, 32, died on March 14, a day after being hospitalized in the wake of a seizure while in the jail. Jacobs reported to the facility on March 6 to serve a 12-day sentence after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated.

Jacobs' family said he arrived at the facility with his medication, including the Xanax he had been taking for a decade for panic attacks, along with documentation from his physician outlining his medical needs. Now, they say the jail ignored that and won't release any documentation or video about what happened.

“I'm angry because as far as I'm concerned, they executed my son just as sure as if they put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger,” Jesse Jacobs, the man's father, told KTRK on Thursday.

Jacobs' death was first reported on Wednesday by About magazine, which detailed the conflicting accounts Galveston Sheriff Henry Trochesset has provided about the incident.

Reports filed with the Texas Attorney Generals office and Texas Commission on Jail Standards state Jacobs was unresponsive in his cell and was transferred to UTMB. On March 23rd, 2015 another account was given when the Galveston Sheriff gave a comment to a local reporter stating, “Jacobs was being administered medication and collapsed.” Today, the Sheriff stated to About Magazine, Jacobs was found in his cell, in the medical division by a nurse and deputy while doing their rounds. Three different accounts, from the same official.

On Thursday, Trochesset (second photo) pointed to a review by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards that cleared the facility of any wrongdoing in Jacobs' death. An autopsy listed “seizure disorder” as Jacobs' cause of death and ruled that his death was from natural causes.

“Whatever the doctor, internal doctors, said he should be prescribed was what he was given,” Trochesset told KTRK. “The jail didn't kill him.”

The family blames the jail for denying Jacobs' his medication, which in turn caused the seizure that killed him. The family is considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit over the incident. 

“Our son was hooked up to every kind of machine and he wasn't there any more,” his mother, Diane Jacobs, told KTRK.

'A really sweet caring guy'


Friends and family held a celebration of life for Jacobs on March 28. Jacobs, an El Paso native, graduated high school in Missouri City and lived in Cypress with his then longtime boyfriend Greg Cassity. During their 8-year relationship, which ended in July 2014, Cassity said Jacobs maintained a strict regime with his medication and didn't experience seizures.

“He was on a routine with his medications. He knew exactly what he needed to take,” Cassity told Project Q Houston. “For all of it to happen so fast is devastating.”

Cassity said Jacobs often liked to stay home, relax, watch television and spend time with Benz, their Jack Russell Terrier (top photo). Since the couple parted ways, Jacobs lived in League City. But when Cassity needed a place to stay after the house they shared sold, Jacobs welcomed him in.

“He was a really sweet caring guy that got into some troubles along the way. He was always someone that took responsibility for it,” Cassity sad.

But four months after his death, Cassity agreed with calls from Jacobs' family that it's time for Trochesset to release more details about what happened to Jacobs and the medical treatment he received at the jail.

“That was March and here we are in August and it's been swept under the rug. It has gone on long enough. The answers need to be provided,” Cassity said.


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