Clarence N. Stevenson Unit

A 55-year-old man was killed while incarcerated at the Clarence N. Stevenson Unit in Cuero, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice official confirmed Wednesday.

The preliminary cause of death for Michael Sullivan was homicide, said Jeremy Desel, a department spokesman who responded only through written questions.

Sullivan, of Harris County, was serving a six-year prison sentence at the unit that resulted from convictions of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon in Waller County. He was projected to be released in January 2022, according to the Texas Tribune’s inmate database, which uses records from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Sullivan had previously received sentences totaling 46 years for convictions of aggravated robbery, possession of cocaine and two counts of delivery of a controlled substance in Harris and Nueces counties.

Sullivan was attacked and suffered head trauma at the unit, where he was found unresponsive in his cell on Aug. 6 and taken to Cuero Regional Hospital for evaluation, Desel said in his written response. He was then flown to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he was taken off life support because his brain showed no activity.

Sullivan was pronounced dead about noon Aug. 7, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office, which lists his death as a case reported to, examined or certified by the office.

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires deaths in custody to be reported to the Office of the Attorney General and a report containing all facts relevant to the individual’s death be submitted within 30 days of the death. Those reports are available to the public through an online database.

No report for Michael Sullivan was listed as of Wednesday night, though two other people died at the Clarence N. Stevenson Unit while incarcerated in 2018 and 2017, according to the custodial death report database. Dale Love Adams, 43, died of complications related to hemorrhagic cerebral infarction in September 2018. The report submitted for 63-year-old Apolonio Castillo, who died at the unit in July 2017, has not been updated to reflect the cause of death determined through an autopsy.

Desel provided no information about any possible suspects in Sullivan’s death. The case is under investigation by the Office of Inspector General, he said.

This story has been updated to reflect the correct reporting deadline for deaths that occur at correctional facilities, as outlined in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. 

Amber Aldaco reports on education for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at aaldaco@vicad.com or 361-580-6303.

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Education Reporter

Amber Aldaco is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She's covered various events in the Crossroads including a zoo rescue, a biker funeral and a state meeting with the governor. She enjoys singing with her significant other.

Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

(2) comments

Angela Kidd

why is this story just being told to the public when this happened on the 7th...? 😭

I pray this family gets the justice they desperately deserve...

Angela Kidd

This is sad. This family needs to get a private autopsy done to get the truth! They still have time. If they need info I’m here....

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