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ABC-7 Xtra: Murder at El Paso Jail was first in county system since 1996, Sheriff says

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- In the wake of a murder at the El Paso Jail Annex late last month, ABC-7 is speaking with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood. The agency inspects jails when an inmate dies while in custody. The commission also conducts un-announced inspections on a 24-month cycle.

The El Paso Sheriff's Office, which runs the county's jail system, held a news conference on the murder Tuesday afternoon. You can read more of our coverage here.

Inspectors conduct walk-throughs of the facilities where they look at locks, safety systems, and other facility features.

A spokesperson for the Texas Commission on Jail Standards told ABC-7 higher risk facilities are inspected more frequently.

In May of this year, the El Paso County Jail (a separate facility from the annex where the recent murder occured) had one deficiency reported during an inspection.  It was a medical related issue that was corrected in July, according to officials. ABC-7 is working to obtain data for the jail annex, which is where the inmate was killed.

ABC-7 has been providing in-depth coverage of this murder from the first day. From a detailed look at the gruesome details of the murder to discussions with an NMSU criminal justice professor, ABC-7 is committed to bringing you complete team coverage of this story.

Wood explained that if the inspector finds something, the facility has to fix it.

"Once a jail is issued a notice of noncompliance, they are required to submit a corrective plan of action within 30 days. We begin monitoring them."

ABC-7 obtained data showing the number of deaths reported at El Paso County jails since 2013.

The document showed nearly 50 inmates have died in the jail system in the last decade.

The majority of deaths were classified as natural, suicide, or accident.

The only homicide reported in an El Paso jail since 2013 was the murder that happened last week.

El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles said Tuesday that the last homicide at an El Paso jail was in 1996.

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