Mother of East Texas man who died in jail hires attorney - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Mother of East Texas man who died in jail hires attorney

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Bobby Madewell Jr. (Source: Gregg County Jail) Bobby Madewell Jr. (Source: Gregg County Jail)
Amy Cowling (Source: Gregg County Jail) Amy Cowling (Source: Gregg County Jail)
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

The mother of an East Texas man who died while he was an inmate of the Gregg County Jail last week has hired an attorney.

51-year-old Bobby Madewell Jr. was arrested on March 12 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On March 21, Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano said Madewell began to exhibit erratic behavior in his cell. Cerliano said officers interacted with Madewell, and Madewell began to resist and became violent. Officers then used a stun gun on Madewell, attempting to apply restraints in his cell. Madewell lost consciousness and was treated by medical staff. He later died at Good Shepherd Medical Center.

"What was the erratic behavior? What caused it?" Betty Madewell, Bobby's mother, asked KLTV last week.

Betty Madewell said her son had problems with depression and was on several medications. According to Betty, her son was denied one of those medications, Xanax.

Gregg County recently settled a lawsuit filed by the family of another inmate who died. Ms. Madewell has hired one of those attorneys in that case.

"Right now, Ms. Madewell is in the grieving process. She is absolutely crushed by this. Bobby was the only surviving member of her immediate family, and she wants answers. She wants to find out what happened, and that is why she has hired us," Jarom Tefteller said.

Tefteller Law represented the estate of Amy Cowling after she died in the Gregg County Jail on December 29, 2010. According to the suit, at the time of her confinement, Cowling advised jail officials that she was dependent on her physician prescribed medication, including but not limited to methadone, without which she would suffer from severe, painful, and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

The suit also claims that at the time of Cowling's confinement and at all times thereafter, Gregg County Jail officials and medical faculty were aware of her physical and emotional addiction, and that failure to provide appropriate medical treatment could result in Cowling's death.

Cowling had been placed on a medical watch while in custody. Jailers were to check on her condition every 15 to 30 minutes.

In the weeks following her death, two jailers were arrested and charged with tampering government documents, after authorities claimed jail observation logs has been falsified.

Later, an autopsy released to KLTV through an open records request stated that Cowling died from a probable seizure due to withdrawal from methadone and alprazolam.

The Gregg County Sheriff's Office has declined to comment on several occasions regarding the death of Bobby Madewell. The Texas Rangers are investigating.

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