SAN ANTONIO – The father of the first inmate from the Dominguez State Jail to die of COVID-19 said his son’s death has had “a horrible impact” on his family.
He said 51-year-old Paul Alexander Casiano was transferred June 23 from the Dominguez State Jail to a Galveston hospital after he was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.
Casiano’s father, who spoke anonymously to KSAT 12 News, said he and other family members tried to call his son at the hospital several times.
”He told the nurse that he would like to speak with his mother and unfortunately that was denied,” the man’s father said.
Casiano died four days later on June 27.
Doctors said COVID-19 was “a contributing factor” in Casiano’s death. So were conditions at the jail, according to the offender’s father.
”They put all the offenders in one room with no masks, no protection, nothing,” he said. ”So if one had the virus, he would spread it to the others that were there.”
There are currently 494 offenders at the jail who have tested positive for the virus. During the previous month, there were no cases.
Casiano’s father said he feels conditions at the jail will almost certainly lead to more deaths.
In a statement released earlier this week, Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials said more testing is being conducted throughout the state prison system and plan to deploy additional disinfecting equipment.
Casiano’s father said the family has one consolation.
“He was a true Christian with the full sense of the word,” Casiano’s father said.