Fort Worth

Fort Worth inmate dies in prison with 106-degree body temperature, officials say

A Fort Worth prisoner who was serving a sentence for intoxication manslaughter died Sunday from severe heat stroke after becoming ill near an Abilene prison, according to a news report.

Seth Donnelly, 29, died Sunday afternoon at Hendrick Hospital in Abilene after becoming ill on Friday.

A preliminary ruling indicated that Donnelly died of hyperthermia he suffered at the Robertson Unit and “illicit drugs” may have been involved, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Initial toxicology tests indicated Donnelly tested positive for methamphetamine, according to officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

“Foul play is not suspected,” said Jeremy Desel, a spokesman with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, in a Wednesday email. “Investigators are examining all factors to include if illicit drug use may have played a role in the death.”

Early on Friday, Donnelly went out with an inmate crew to run the prison’s search and rescue dogs in a training exercise. Donnelly became ill after the first run, so officers allowed him to rest in a cooled trailer.

When the crew came back after a second dog run, Donnelly was in “distress.”

Justice of the Peace Sparky Dean told the Houston Chronicle that Donnell’s internal body temperature Friday morning was 106.

Donnelly was sentenced to 12 years in prison in July 2014, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.

About 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2012, a Fort Worth police officer saw Donnelly driving a pickup recklessly on the Benbrook traffic circle in west Fort Worth and nearly causing a wreck, according to a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.

The officer pursued Donnelly with lights and sirens on. Donnelly tried to evade the officer, weaving in and out of traffic until he ran a red light at Alta Mere Drive and Calmont Avenue. He was going about 90 mph when he slammed into motorcyclist Richard Franklin Lynn, a crash recorded by a red-light camera.

Lynn had purchased a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle a month earlier for his 71st birthday. He was killed instantly.

Donnelly kept driving with the motorcycle lodged in the front of his pickup.

Donnelly’s record includes a conviction for driving while intoxicated and six public-intoxication convictions, according to the news release.

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