Prelim. Autopsy: no foul play in death of man in Van Zandt County jail

Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 16:13 - Written by


CANTON - The death of an inmate at the Van Zandt County Jail on Sunday remains under investigation, but Sheriff Lindsey Ray says a preliminary autopsy indicates there was no foul play.

Ray said the 37-year-old inmate was presenting problems in his cell and deputies were in the process of attempting to restrain him when he became unresponsive. 

Records show Michael Peaden was in jail on charges including criminal non-support, reckless driving, felony fleeing and resisting arrest. 

"He began being combative and the deputies were trying to calm him down and restrain him. He became unresponsive," he said.

Medical personnel worked on Peaden, but he passed away in the jail.

Ray said Peaden was later pronounced dead by Van Zandt County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronnie Daniel at the jail.

"A preliminary autopsy shows no significant trauma and no indications of foul play," he said. 

Ray did not say if the man had medical problems, but did say he believed the man was on some type of medication at the time of his death. 

Ray said the case is being handled by Texas Ranger Michael Adcock in Athens and remains open until a complete autopsy, including a toxicology screen, is finalized.