The Texas Department of Criminal Justice recently announced the death of another Huntsville-based employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

The agency said Friday that 32-year old Codie Whitley-Turner, a former food service manager at the Huntsville Unit, died on September 9 after testing positive for COVID-19 on August 21.

Whitley-Turner had worked for the TDCJ for over 10 years, all of them at the Huntsville Unit. His first three years were as a correctional officer and his last seven years were in the food services department.

“He was an exceptional employee, supervisor, and friend,” said Huntsville Unit Senior Warden Dennis Crowley. “We will miss him dearly,” he added.

Mr. Whitley-Turner was admitted to the hospital on August 21, after testing positive for COVID-19. He was discharged on August 24 in good health. On September 3, he was re-admitted to the hospital and was reported to be in stable condition, receiving oxygen to help with his breathing, and was showing signs of improvement, the agency said. 

On September 9, prison administrators were notified that his condition had worsened overnight. He was put on a ventilator and died during the night.

“The TDCJ grieves the loss of every employee, and to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking.” said Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Mr. Whitley-Turner spent most of his adult life serving the agency, and will be sincerely missed by his friends and co-workers. Our prayers are with his family.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had 57 employees die in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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