Man Jailed on Petty Theft, Couldn’t Make Bail, Killed Within 48 Hours

holding cell

*I often wondered what happened if you got arrested, and then could not come up with the bail money. I mean, there was a part of me that “assumed” the bailbondsman fronted the thirty-percent just on G. P. but even in my ignorance, I should’ve realized there had to be some proven method to pay it back.

Well the death of one man who had no such luck answered my question. You get thrown into a holding cell and you may not come out.


According to what authorities told the Houston Press, 46-year-old Patrick Joseph Brown had stolen a guitar and was booked on misdemeanor theft. But when he couldn’t come up with the $3,000 bail money (he had been denied a personal bond) he was placed in a holding cell with several other men, including Curtis Maxwell and Ebenezer Nah — two men who carried aggravated assaulted charges causing serious bodily injury according to what Harris County Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Sullivan told the press last Wednesday.

No one knows why the three men got into it, but Brown, who is said to have been beaten within an inch of his life, ended up dead…less than 48 hours after he failed to post bail.

Brown, a Harris County, Texas resident, was found unresponsive by a guard during what is supposed to be a cell check every 15-minutes. The three men were reportedly booked at some point on April 2 or 3, so by April 5, when Brown’s body was discovered, they had been together in the cell for 3 days.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics say homicide is a rare cause of death in local jails; where illness and suicide are most prevalent. Unfortunately for Brown, whose death can be seen as the result of a messy criminal justice system and should not have happened,  the issue of who should be jailed together based on the severity of their crime is brought to the forefront.

Not to mention the consequences America’s criminal justice system holds for those who can’t shoulder its financial burden.

It’s a damn shame. Someone should be held accountable.

One of Brown’s former girlfriends told the Houston Chronicle that he left behind a teenage son, who is devastated by the loss of his father.

“All I know is, something like this shouldn’t happen,” the woman told the Chronicle. “Who gets beat up and killed in jail in a holding cell?”


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