The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had 57 employees die in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. “The TDCJ grieves the loss of every employee, and to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking.” said Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Mr. Whitley-Turner spent most of his adult life serving the agency, and will be sincerely missed by his friends and co-workers. Our prayers are with his family.”
Mr. Whitley-Turner was admitted to the hospital on August 21, after testing positive for COVID-19. He was discharged on August 24 in good health. On September 3, he was re-admitted to the hospital and was reported to be in stable condition, receiving oxygen to help with his breathing, and was showing signs of improvement, the agency said. “He was an exceptional employee, supervisor, and friend,” said Huntsville Unit Senior Warden Dennis Crowley. “We will miss him dearly,” he added.
On September 9, prison administrators were notified that his condition had worsened overnight. He was put on a ventilator and died during the night. Whitley-Turner had worked for the TDCJ for over 10 years, all of them at the Huntsville Unit. His first three years were as a correctional officer and his last seven years were in the food services department.
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