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Jailers implicated in inmate's death back in court

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Posted at 11:32 PM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-04 00:34:06-05

A former Nueces County jailer and two currently employed county jailers who were arrested over actions that took place around the time of an inmate's death were in court this morning.

William Fielder, Richard Culp and Javier Zapata Jr. appeared before Judge Sandra Watts in the 117th District Court.

The three were indicted in October after being implicated in actions that took place around the time of inmate David Johnson's death at the Nueces County Jail.

According to the Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office, Johnson, 49, died of acute bronchopneumonia on Dec. 15, 2018.

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Photo: David Johnson, an inmate who died inside the Nueces County Jail.

All three men have been charged with official oppression and tampering with government records.

Zapata is facing an additional charge of invasive visual recording.

Zapata resigned in lieu of termination in January 2019.

The findings of an investigation by the Texas Rangers led to the resignation of Fielder and Culp, who were later reinstated.

Judge Watts set Fielder and Culp's trial date for March 17 and Javier Zapata, Jr.'s date on March 24.

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All three men surrendered before noon today.

All three are out on bond.