Ariel Ledesma, whose death spurred a use-of-force complaint at the Galveston County Jail, died from blunt force head trauma, forensic examiners confirmed Wednesday.

Investigators still were working to determine how the blunt force that killed the 47-year-old inmate had been delivered, said John “D.J.” Florence, chief investigator for the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Sgt. Jonathan Wuneburger, 42, an eight-year veteran of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, has been on administrative leave since Nov. 30, when Ledesma was transported to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, Sheriff Henry Trochesset confirmed Wednesday.

Representatives for the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Rangers and other agencies have declined to comment about the specifics of the death.

Trochesset, however, said Tuesday the agencies were investigating a use-of-force complaint at the jail.

Ledesma was first jailed on Nov. 28 on one count of criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, Trochesset said. His bond was set at $1,000.

Two days after his arrival, emergency personnel transported him to a hospital. He died Monday.

Attorneys for Ledesma’s family said Wednesday there still were many unanswered questions about his death and called on law enforcement to be transparent during the investigation.

“We demand that law enforcement fully, and transparently, investigate the circumstances of Ariel’s death; and, to the extent that there was foul play, we expect law enforcement to prosecute anyone and everyone responsible,” attorneys Matt Doss and Philip Rodriguez said in a joint statement.

Doss and Rodriguez are representing, Rodrigo Ledesma and Maria Ledesma-Ortiz, Ledesma’s siblings.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


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