A Houston mother says on the same night the city experienced one of the coldest nights of the year, her son was fatally and mysteriously injured after being stripped naked inside a Harris County jail cell.
“The worst phone call of my life,” recalled LaRhonda Biggles.
Biggles’ son, 23-year-old Jaquaree Simmons, was pronounced dead on February 17. His family says his death came a day after he had an altercation with guards inside the jail. A preliminary autopsy conducted by the family’s attorney notes contusions to Simmons’ face and left shoulder and no evidence of natural disease.
The sheriff’s office confirms it is investigating and is awaiting the medical examiner’s report. But it’s been more than two months and Simmons’s family is looking for answers.
“I call all the time and leave messages, I call all the time and try to get in contact with someone,” Biggles said. “I can never get through. Nobody’s calling me.”
Biggles knows her son wasn’t perfect. He was in jail for violating a bond on a felony weapons possession charge and has other offenses. She said that’s not the point.
“They are not the judge and jury that has the right to convict them to death,” Biggles said referring to jailed inmates. “I want answers. I want to know what led to my son’s death.”
Biggles also said that Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called her two days before her son’s funeral to express his condolences.
KPRC 2 asked for confirmation from the sheriff’s office, who said they do not comment about private conversations.