The troubled history of Gonzalo Lopez behind bars

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Nearly four months after KHOU 11’s initial request for open records, TDCJ released information showing that Gonzalo Lopez had a disciplinary record dating back six years.

TEXAS, USA — Escaped inmate Gonzalo Lopez had a disciplinary record that dates back six years, according to records KHOU 11 just received from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after requesting them nearly four months ago.

Lopez died after a shootout with police, but it wasn’t before he killed five members of his family in Centerville as he fled after escaping a prison transport bus.

In 2019, TDCJ documented in Lopez’s file an assault on another inmate with a sharp piece of metal.

In 2018, he was disciplined for having a cellphone and a charger.

Twice in 2016 he got into trouble, once for having a razor blade and once for injuring another inmate during a fight.

“It was kind of like a recipe for disaster,” Professor Mitchel Roth told AFP. Sam Houston State University.

Roth studies the prison system.

“It’s one thing to do it once, but to be written so many times and then have the benefit of being able to see a doctor in another part of the state – you know, there are so many red flags there,” Roth said. .

After learning that Lopez broke out of his shackles on the bus, drove through a metal barrier and stabbed the driver, KHOU 11 requested standard operating procedures for detainee transports.

Although heavily redacted, the documents outline a procedure for recording the location of keys and transporting high-level inmates. However, it is unclear whether these procedures were followed.

“I think that was a call for change,” Roth said. “To make sure that prisoners are better vetted, that maximum security prisoners aren’t transported from one place to another, that there should be doctors on the sites of the are in, all those little things.

TDCJ made changes. They now transport high-level detainees themselves and have improved search procedures.

The Texas Rangers do their own investigation. The TDCJ has promised to make the results public once completed.

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