WALKER COUNTY, Texas – The Texas Rangers are investigating the death of a 22-year-old woman who passed away while in custody at the Walker County Jail.
Activist Quanell X, and other community leaders, spoke from the Walker County Jail Friday. They questioned the original national news report, saying the reporter never called the sheriff about the incident.
Quanell X praised the Walker County Sheriff's Office in its openness about the investigation.
Symone Marshall was new to the Huntsville, having moved from the Detroit area two months ago with her boyfriend. She got a job at a local IHOP restaurant and was saving money to bring her 3-year-old daughter from Michigan and get her own apartment according to her family and friends.
"She was determined that's one word very determined and ambitious," said Parris Marthrel-Jones, her boyfriend's cousin whom they were living with.
She borrowed Marthrel-Jones' car April 26 to run an errand in Houston, taking along a friend, 26-year-old Amanda Arnold.
The women got in a car accident along I-45 near Huntsville and told troopers with the Department of Public Safety another car ran them off the road, rolling their car multiple times.
Investigators say both women refused medical treatment and ended up under arrest when troopers found cocaine in their car. They were booked in the Walker County Jail on drug charges and Marshall was also charged for not providing identification.
Arnold bonded out the next day, but Marshall couldn't make her $5,000 bond and spent the next two weeks in jail and in pain according to her family.
"She said her head was hurting really bad, her exact words, her head was hurting, she had a lump on her head, and her eyes were hurting, she was very sensitive to light and she kept blacking out and stuff , I asked her did they take you to the hospital she said no," said Honey Marshall, Symone's sister.
The sister says she also called the jail and asked for her sister to be taken to the hospital, but to no avail.
Last Tuesday, Marshall had a seizure in her cell. Sheriff Clint McRae says it was captured on jail surveillance video.
"(She) takes a drink of water, lays back starts having more of a convulsive incident," he said.
Marshall was pronounced dead at Huntsville Memorial Hospital a short time later.
"She had the opportunity to see nurse and doctor and never revealed any medical conditions," McRae
The sheriff denies any allegations of wrongdoing by his department and says Marshall never asked for medical attention while in custody.
"Our department has handled this case by the book, we're not going to end up like the Sandra Bland case," McRae said.
McRae says he asked the Texas Rangers to get involved in the case as part of standard procedure.