SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff's Office on Sunday confirmed that a detention officer assigned to the classification of inmates at the Bexar County Jail has been reassigned as authorities investigate the murder of an inmate.
Detention officer Jose Briseno is the only detention officer to be reassigned in connection with the investigation into the death of inmate Alexander Wise.
Sheriff Javier Salazar said Wise, 29, was "believed" to be a former member of a white supremacist gang and was beaten to death Thursday by his cellmate, Shandrick Van Anthony Buckley.
Despite Buckley being an African American man and Wise having a history of being in a white supremacist gang, Salazar said jail staff did not consider them to be incapable of being housed in a cell together. He added that they were housed together in part because both have been involved in recent violent incidents at the jail.
Buckley was arrested in September 2017 on suspicion of murdering another man by repeatedly stomping on the man's head. Wise was facing charges of theft, possession of a controlled substance, fraudulent use of identification and credit card abuse.
Online records show Buckley is still awaiting trial in the murder case.
Salazar said detention deputies discovered Wise suffering from head and facial injuries after blood was seen flowing under the door of his and Buckley's cell. When deputies entered the cell, Buckley appeared to be asleep in his bed.
Buckley now faces a capital murder-incarcerated charge, according to jail records. His bail has been set at $1.5 million.
Briseno was reassigned as internal affairs conducts an administrative review of the incident to determine whether all procedures and policies were followed, according to Johnny Garcia, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. Garcia said administrative investigations are standard procedure after a major incident at the jail, but that reassignments are taken on a "case-by-case" basis.
When asked whether Briseno's reassignment was based on suspicion he did not comply with protocol, Garcia said no, adding that that will be determined by the Sheriff's Office's Criminal Investigation Division and Internal Affairs investigators.
Garcia said he was unsure of Briseno's role in relation to Wise's case but said that classification officers typically interview inmates during the intake process, track ongoing trends within living facilities and assign inmates throughout the facility.
Payroll records show that Briseno has been employed by the Sheriff's Office since 2014.