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WC inmates who died in custody identified

During a press conference last week, the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office revealed that two...
During a press conference last week, the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office revealed that two inmates had died while in custody, just days apart.
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - More details on the deaths of two inmates last week have been revealed.

Wichita County Sheriff’s Office revealed that two inmates had died while in custody just days apart during a press conference last week. Today, Staff Sgt. Dan Buesing identified the men as Cedric Leon Hardesty, 57, and Leo Lawrence, 72.

Both were allegedly found having medical emergencies; Deputy Sheriff Melvin Joyner said that “advanced life-saving measures” were performed on both men, who were both pronounced dead after being transported to United Regional Hospital.

Hardesty had been booked into the Wichita County Jail in April of this year on charges of parole violation and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon after being convicted of murder in 1995. Hardesty was found having a medical emergency at 1:03 a.m. on Sept. 13, and was pronounced dead at United Regional later that morning.

Two days later, on Sept. 15, Lawrence was found having a medical emergency at around 1 p.m. He had been in the jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate both deaths, and the WC Sheriff Office is conducting its own internal investigation.

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