Jason Donnell

An investigation is underway involving an inmate who was found deceased at the Hunt County Detention Center Monday morning.

Jason Edward Donnell was scheduled to appear in court Monday on charges of sexual assault of a child and had been involved in a standoff with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.

The sheriff’s office had not released Donnell’s name as of Monday evening, pending notification of next of kin, although a family member contacted by the newspaper confirmed the identity of the individual.

The sheriff’s office issued a statement, indicating Hunt County Jail personnel discovered an unresponsive person in the facility at approximately 6 a.m. Monday. The subject was an inmate incarcerated in the jail. Medical personnel were reported to have been called to the scene, and the subject was pronounced deceased and was transported to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.

The Texas Rangers and the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division were reported to be investigating the death.

Donnell had been scheduled to appear in the 196th District Court Monday for an announcement hearing.

Hunt County Sheriff deputies served multiple felony warrants on Donnell late on the night of March 1 at his residence in the 1700 block of County Road 2320. Donnell was being held in the Hunt County Detention Center in lieu of a total of $500,000 bond on five counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office following Donnell’s arrest, all attempts to have Donnell exit the home failed and he was said to have essentially barricaded himself in the residence. The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and negotiators were called to the scene. Donnell spoke with a negotiator and agreed on two different occasions to surrender without incident but did not exit the residence.

According to the Sheriff Randy Meeks, all attempts to reach Donnell failed and entry to the residence was made , where officers allegedly discovered “Donnell had a gun pointed to his head and did discharge the handgun striking himself in the back of the head. Donnell’s injury was immediately attended to by the SWAT medic until AMR could enter the residence. Donnell was transported to Hunt Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released for his injuries and is currently booked into the Hunt County Jail without further incident.”

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