By the time Casey Myers died at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s McConnell Unit, south of San Antonio, he’d already spent the majority of his life locked up. Ordered into the then-Texas Youth Commission on a 30-year sentence when he was in the eighth grade for killing a 12-year-old boy he lived with, Myers became an adult prisoner three years later at the age of 17.
He never got out. On March 22, 2011, the 30-year-old Myers was discovered hanging in his prison cell. For the previous eight months, he had been assigned to administrative segregation, where inmates spend 23 hours a day in their cells.
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This story continues ongoing scrutiny of government by investigative reporter Eric Dexheimer, named Star Reporter of the Year last month by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. His coverage revealed the state’s siphoning of court fees for other uses, disuse of the state’s hate crime law and local governments profiting from illegal gambling.