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Sulphur Springs inmate's death ruled homicide

Tony Ross, 34, died on March 8 following his arrest and detention in Sulphur Springs on March 6.
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The death of a Hopkins County man who died following a heart attack suffered in police custody has been ruled a homicide, according to an autopsy report.

Tony Chance Ross, 34, was arrested and jailed by Sulphur Springs police on March 6 and died in a Tyler hospital on March 8. In the autopsy results, the cause of death is listed as “acute methamphetamine intoxication and physical restraint.” The manner of death is listed as “homicide.”

The incident leading to Ross’ death began when Sulphur Springs Police responded to a complaint of a man kicking in a door at a residence in town, according to Chief Jay Sanders. Officers Ross with no shirt and behaving strangely, police said.

Ross charged at an officer attempting to arrest him, police said. The officer then tased Ross, but Ross escaped, they said. After on-foot pursuit and a physical struggle with officers, Ross was arrested and taken to the city jail, police said.

Eleven minutes after being booked into the Hopkins County Jail, officers heard a noise from Ross' cell and found him unresponsive on the floor and in cardiac arrest. He was then transported by ambulance to the Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. Crews treating Ross were able to stabilize his heartbeat, but weren't able to get him breathing on his own.

Ross was transported early on March 7 to Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, where he later died on the afternoon of March 8.  The Texas Rangers investigating the incident, as the death is being treated as one that occurred in police custody, Sanders said.