Correctional Officer Dies at Wainwright Prison Unit

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – The Messenger learned early Tuesday morning of the untimely death of a correctional officer at the Wainwright Prison Unit late Monday, Nov. 13. Sources tell The Messenger Houston County Justice of the Peace Precinct One Mike McCreight was called out to perform the inquest and that an autopsy was ordered. 

While few details have been released, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDJC) released a statement regarding the incident.

“TDCJ is deeply saddened to announce the death of Correctional Officer Jovian Motley. The 27-year-old officer lost his life in the line of duty on November 13, 2023, while serving at the Wainwright Unit in Houston County, Texas. Motley joined the agency in October 2022. 

‘Officer Motley was a hero who tragically died while protecting his fellow officers and the public,’ TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. ‘His courage and dedication will forever be remembered. We are praying for his family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time.’

‘Officer Motley demonstrated unwavering commitment to serving his community and gave his life for others,’ Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Eric Nichols said. ‘His sacrifice is a solemn reminder of the bravery exhibited every day by the men and women in corrections. He will never be forgotten.’

Motley was assisting other officers in restraining an inmate at the prison when he died. The Office of Inspector General is investigating the incident. As this is an ongoing criminal investigation, the agency will not be releasing any further information at this time.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also weighed in on the tragedy, saying in a statement, “Texas grieves for the loss of one of its brave correctional officers, who selflessly put his life on the line each day to protect his community, fellow officers, and Texans. We must never take for granted the service and sacrifice of our correctional officers. Cecilia and I pray for Officer Jovian Motley and his family and ask all Texans to keep his loved ones in their prayers during this heartbreaking time.”

There is still no word regarding the specific circumstances leading to Motley’s death, although The Messenger has learned there may be video footage of the incident. 

This story will be updated when new information comes to light. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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