The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

March 19, 2013

Man dies in ACSO custody; investigation ongoing

By MARY RAINWATER
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers are investigating the death of a 50-year-old man who died while in the custody of the ACSO on Saturday morning.

According to Sheriff Greg Taylor, Jeffrey Mallachi Eastman was pronounced dead at Palestine Regional Medical Center by Justice of the Peace James Westley at around 7 a.m. after being transported to the hospital from the jail.

“We had gotten a call at 2:52 a.m. Saturday on a suspicious person at the Kim’s in Elkhart,” Taylor said. “Deputy Jeff Taylor responded to the scene.”

Eastman was walking around the store (which was closed at the time) claiming he was there to pick up his wife, who worked there.

“He appeared to be intoxicated on something,” the sheriff added. “The deputy did have an ambulance check on him at the scene, but the suspect refused medical treatment, claiming he just had high blood pressure and nothing else was wrong.”

Eastman was arrested for public intoxication and taken to the jail.

ACSO Investigator Ronnie Foster, the lead investigator on the case, is being assisted by local Texas Ranger Rudy Flores, who often serves as an “outside investigator” in cases like these, Taylor said.

Foster and Flores attended Eastman’s autopsy Monday, with pending results to be released from Justice of the Peace Westley.

“We do not feel there was anything out of the ordinary in his death,” Taylor said. “It is possible that it was drug-related — (Eastman) is believed to be a meth user — but we are still waiting on autopsy results.

“We are investigating it, just as we would any other case involving a death.”



Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com