Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TX: Homicide ruled in 4th death at troubled kids' facility

Boy, 16, asphyxiated in November after being restrained inside a closet (Owens had refused to show the staffer what he was holding in his hand, which turned out to be the cap of a pen)


Jan. 7, 2011

Texas - The restraint death of a 16-year-old boy at Daystar Residential Inc., a facility for troubled children, has been ruled a homicide caused by "complications of mechanical asphyxia," according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science.

Michael Kevin Owens suffocated and died on Nov. 5 after a Daystar staffer placed him in a physical restraint inside a bedroom closet because he would not show the staffer what he held in his hand. Owens' death was the fourth restraint-related fatality to occur at Daystar or its sister facilities. Daystar is located 25 miles south of Houston.

The name of the staffer has not been released, and the case will go before a grand jury to determine whether criminal charges will be filed, according to Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne.

Owens' death occurred just days after the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services notified Daystar that it was on probation, and the incident prompted the agency to place the Manvel-based facility, for the third time, under the watch of a state monitor.

The agency is reviewing the autopsy report, which was issued to them late Thursday.

"We have been going through a very deliberate process of evaluating Daystar's state license, and this ruling is an important piece," said Patrick Crimmins, DFPS' spokesman.

For more information, please follow the link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7369710.html