Crime & Courts

24-year-old Sedgwick County jail inmate facing murder charge dies in cell

Sedgwick County Jail
Sedgwick County Jail File photo

A 24-year-old inmate – facing trial on a second-degree murder charge, according to court records – was found unresponsive in his Sedgwick County Jail cell Tuesday morning and has died, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The inmate’s mother, Precious Gallardo, confirmed Tuesday evening that her son, Antonio Bell, had died in jail. The Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t provide his name Tuesday, saying his family had asked that it not be released.

Bell was facing a March 7 trial for the death of Deandre Freeman Jr. Freeman, 23, had been shot in the head. A man walking his dog found Freeman’s body in a ditch in the 8000 block of North Oliver, near Kechi, in September 2013.

The Sheriff’s Office has said that Freeman and Bell were documented gang members and knew each another.

Gallardo said Tuesday that jail staff told her that her son had been to the jail clinic and that staff later found him face down “when they went to make rounds.”

The Sheriff’s Office gave this account in a statement Tuesday afternoon:

Around 10:15 a.m., the inmate “was found unresponsive in his cell.” On-site medical staff “immediately rendered aid” and were followed by EMS personnel, the statement said.

“Unfortunately, resuscitation efforts were not successful and the 24-year-old man was pronounced dead at about 10:55 a.m.”

The cause of death has yet to be determined “but will be thoroughly investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division,” the office said.

The inmate was booked into the jail on felony charges on Sept. 30, 2013, the office said.

Tim Potter: 316-268-6684, @terporter