Waller County Jail inmate dies after hanging himself

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor, Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A Waller County Jail inmate took his own life after being arrested in connection with a homicide earlier this month, officials said Wednesday.

Evan Parker, 34, was arrested Jan. 10 after a standoff in west Houston. He was charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in an attack that happened the night before at the Orizon Industries plant in Brookshire.

Investigators said Parker walked through the building asking for 64-year-old Harry Parnell, a supervisor at the plant. Parker found Parnell in his office and stabbed him to death, investigators said. As Parker fled the scene, a group of employees tried to stop him, investigators said. One of those employees was badly injured, investigators said.

Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith said that Parker was in a cell by himself and showed no signs of being suicidal.

Smith said jailers, who were conducting checks every 15 minutes, performed CPR on Parker when he was found hanging in his cell. Parker was taken to a hospital and died a few days later. A source said Parker died Sunday.

A Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office report showed that Parker died from hanging and that his manner of death was listed as suicide. The place of death was listed as an intensive care unit in Houston.

Smith said that all jail protocols were followed and that the Texas Rangers are investigating Parker's death.

This is the same jail where Sandra Bland was found hanging in her cell in 2015. Her death was ruled a suicide, and resulted in new measures being implemented at the jail in an effort to prevent future suicides.

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