Houston jail staff faulted in state report following inmate death

Matthew Shelton, 28, needed life-saving medication. But, he never got it.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Harris Health have provided the state an action plan after the Texas Jail Standards Commission found fault with how an inmate was handled inside a downtown Houston jail facility.

An excerpt from a December 2022 letter and earlier report on a Harris County Jail deficiency cited by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. (KPRC-TV)

Matthew Shelton, 28, had checked into the jail in March 2022 to settle an out-of-county DUI warrant.

He was pronounced dead five days later on March 27, 2022.

The Harris County Medical Examiner ruled that Shelton died from Diabetic Ketoacidosis, the fatal result, of not having his necessary medication.

Shelton was diabetic who needed both insulin and blood pressure medication, according to his family.

Shelton entered the jail facility with his medications, but as is standard procedure, he was stripped of those items.

He was supposed to receive county-issued medication but did not, and his medical condition became dire quickly, so he called his family.

“[We] immediately began calling the Harris County Jail, could not get a hold of anybody,” Kevin Borchgrevink, Shelton’s brother-in-law said.

Harris County’s Response

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office did not provide KPRC 2 investigates a statement about the matter, Friday, but did give the action plan they provided to the State of Texas.

Part of those procedural changes are highlighted below.

First Page of Harris County response to Jail Standards Commission request for a corrective action plan. (KPRC-TV)