Fri. Jun 7th, 2024


Don Barnes OCSD jail death
Don Barnes OCSD jail death

The Weekly has learned that an Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) inmate who had a history of annoying cops mysteriously died yesterday.

Despite the hours that have passed, OCSD officials haven’t yet issued a press release about the jail death or explained following a media inquiry asking what happened to 38-year-old Anthony Aceves of Santa Ana.

Jail records currently show Aceves was “released” from the county’s Theo Lacy Jail just before 11 p.m. on May 23 and the reason for the departure is listed as “deceased.”

A woman who said she is the victim’s mother told the Weekly this afternoon that her son suffered from schizophrenia but was otherwise relatively healthy and “a special kid who should have been better taken care of.”

The mother also said OCSD officials, including in the coroner’s office, have refused to provide her any information other than that they are investigating the cause of death and that he was found “unresponsive” in his cell.

Aceves’ prior convictions include assault, criminal threats, vandalism and battery on a Santa Ana Police Department cop, according to county records.

That last alleged crime landed him in prison in early 2017 for a two year term.

After his release, he was accused of a violation (failure to report to his probation officer) that put him back in OCSD custody that ended tragically.

Aceves’ suspicious family tells me they want to know the truth about his death.

[UPDATE, May 25: OCSD spokeswoman Carrie L. Braun reported that deputies found Aceves unresponsive in his cell with “no obvious signs of trauma” before transporting him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Said Braun, “The cause of death is pending while the coroner’s office completes its investigation.”]

CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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