Llano County Jail Death Prompts Lawsuit

When the Llano County sheriff arrived at her home in August 2011, Shirley Appell thought that her son, Shawn, had escaped from the county jail.

The 45-year-old Air Force veteran had been arrested five months earlier after driving his car into a local tire shop, which she says was because he was suffering from schizophrenia.

But the sheriff, Bill Blackburn, came to tell her that her son had died in the jail. He had been suffering from delusions, telling anyone who would listen, “I got demons in my head” and beating his head against the wall. After 24 hours, he ...

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