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Potter County Inmate Dies in Custody; Autopsy Ordered

How and why did a Potter County inmate die?

It's the question officials and family members continue to ask themselves nearly 24 hours after the incident.

An autopsy has been ordered for 22-year-old Daniel Martinez.

Officials said yesterday around 10:00 p.m., he died in the Potter County Detention Center. 

Although there's very limited information on what happened last night and the cause of death, court documents show several instances regarding his past.

It's not common for inmates to die while in custody here in our area.

"They are very rare for the Panhandle," said Randall Sims, 47th District Attorney.

He said, on Tuesday night, the Potter County Detention Center had its first incident of the year. 
Officials with the Potter County Sheriff's Office said Martinez had only been in the detention center for a little more than a week. But court documents show his rap sheet had years of incidents sending him behind bars.

"He was initially charged with a case of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon back in 2013 and he received probation for that," said Sims.

He was 17 years old at the time.

The documents state he threatened someone with an airsoft gun. 

Court documents also show nearly every year after the 2013 incident, the issues kept increasing. 

The latest happening last year.

"In 2017 he committed an offense of Evading Arrest and then also resulted in us filing a motion to revoke that aggravated assault probation," said Sims.

Sims said he was in custody at the detention center on those two charges.

Regardless of the events that lead him to the detention center, the Martinez family and those who knew Daniel are mourning.

His aunt told us the family is completely shattered.    

Texas Rangers are investigating this incident. 

It's protocol for them to do so regarding all in-custody deaths.

They said they'll have a cause of death after the final autopsy report. 


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