Duval County inmate dies months after being under hospital care

A man has filed a lawsuit against a doctor at the University of Washington Medicine after he was reportedly fighting for his life following an alleged botched surgery.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released more details on the death of an inmate last week.


Walter James Matthews, 49, died at a local hospital on Nov. 17 around 1:20 p.m. Preliminary investigation by police indicated that Matthews may have experienced an “undetermined medical episode due to his ongoing medical conditions.”

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Action News Jax told you about the inmate’s passing last Friday when detectives with JSO’s Cold Case Unit were notified of, and responded to the reported death at a local hospital. Reports state that upon arrival, detectives learned the inmate was arrested on Apr. 7, and booked in the Jacksonville Pre-Trial Detention Facility.

“Prior to the initial transport of Matthews to the local hospital, he (Matthews) did not have any use of force incidents involving other inmates or officers,” JSO said in a statement.

Read: EXCLUSIVE: Jacksonville inmate dies in custody; family says ‘nobody notified us’

According to police, Matthews was originally taken into custody on Apr. 7, 2023, following his arrest for multiple crimes. These included armed possession of illegal narcotics, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated stalking, written threats, resisting without violence, violation of injunction for protection against stalking, and several other citations.

Police have said that the Medical Examiner’s Office is currently trying to determine a cause of death. A final report will follow as the current cause of death is undetermined.

According to Action News Jax records, this is the 13th inmate death in Duval County.

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