Texas prison guard faces criminal charge after inmate death

Telford prison in New Boston on March 21, 2018
Telford prison in New Boston on March 21, 2018
Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

A Texas prison guard has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of an inmate, according to the state prison department’s investigatory branch.

Correctional officer D’Andre Glasper is accused of assaulting Gary Ryan, 58, at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville on Aug. 30, leading to Ryan’s death nearly two weeks later, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Office of the Inspector General’s office said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. Glasper, 22, was arrested on Sept. 10 on an aggravated assault charge and was released from the Walker County Jail after posting $50,000 bail.

The incident began after Ryan spit on Glasper’s torso in the morning, according to the news release. Glasper reported the incident to his supervisor and returned to his shift, though with instructions to have no further contact with Ryan. Against his instructions, Glasper later went back to Ryan to take him to shower.

Gary Ryan.
Gary Ryan.

Glasper said Ryan became aggressive and made “derogatory remarks,” the release said, and that Ryan’s injuries occurred as the guard tried to put Ryan “prone on the floor.” When medical staff arrived, Ryan was unresponsive and bleeding from his head.

Ryan was airlifted to a Houston hospital, underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain, and died on Sept. 12, according to the investigatory office.

Glasper had worked at the department since December 2016 and has since resigned. Ryan was more than four years into a five-year sentence for harassment of a public servant.

A prison department spokesman said in an email Tuesday that the case was immediately referred to the independent investigatory office after Ryan was injured. The spokesman said he didn’t know the last time a guard was charged in the death of an inmate.

“One of the core values of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is integrity and any violation of the public trust will not be tolerated,” said Bryan Collier, the department’s executive director, in a statement. “TDCJ fully supports the Office of Inspector General and prosecuting former Officer Glasper to the fullest extent of the law.”



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