A man in the custody of the Galveston County Sheriff's Office died in a Galveston hospital on Monday, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.

Jeffery Lynn Peters, 59, of San Leon, died at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Trochesset said.

Peters was sent from the jail to the medical branch on Oct. 17 because he was having trouble breathing, Trochesset said.

Peters was booked into the jail on Oct. 12 on a felony charge of assault on a public servant, according to court records.

After being booked into the jail, Peters was placed in the medical area of the jail because of health issues that the jail's medical staff identified while he was being booked, Trochesset said.

Peters' death is at least the seventh in-custody death reported by the Sheriff's Office since 2015, according to data collected from the Texas Attorney General's Office by the nonprofit Texas Justice Initiatives.

Trochesset said he would not release a cause of death until the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office completed an autopsy on Peters.

A booking photo taken on the day Peters was booked into the jail shows him with apparent injuries to the right side of his face. Peters had suffered the injuries before deputies found him sleeping inside a truck in San Leon, Trochesset said late Tuesday evening. 

The sheriff's office has notified the Texas Rangers and the Texas Jail Commission about Peters' death, Trochesset said.

Trochesset said, to his knowledge, the number of in-custody deaths reported by the sheriff's office was not unusual or alarming, given the size of the county's inmate population. Reviews of the deaths of other inmates have not caused him to change any policies at the jail, he said. 

"That's why each incident is investigated and investigated by an outside agency," Trochesset said. "Through each of these incidents, because of the medical condition of the inmate, I have not seen that to be an issue." 

Galveston County has a large population of people that aren't in good health, Trochesset said. 

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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