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See you on the other side, Robert

Dec 29th, 2014 | By | Category: Inmate Stories, Smith County

There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about you Robert. We love you and miss you more that you will ever know. Your death was something that should not have happened. We still don’t understand why. But I promised you I would not let your death go without having the answers we need.

Robert Rowan was born Aug 27, 1987, and he was a great man. He loved his family with all his heart. He loved to be out on the boat with his cousin William. William now wants to sell the boat because it was his and Roberts’s thing. He enjoyed working on cars, riding dirt bikes, riding back roads, having a cold beer and just enjoying life.

Robert lost his step dad and step mom so life was hard at times, but he kept his head up. Even though Robert didn’t get to see his daughter Brielle very often, he knew she was a daddy’s girl. Brielle looks just like him so we still get to see him in her. His son Jayden—he is all boy! He loves his daddy. He loved being at the lake with him going any place he could just to be with his dad. Jayden wants his dad back, but he also knows that he is in heaven. It’s hard to see two young kids growing up so fast without Robert. They both miss him so much—we all do.

I can remember the day Gloria brought Robert home from the hospital. She would not let anyone touch him, you would think he was made of glass. Then when he started walking she would have to follow beside him with a wet wash cloth so she could wipe his hands and feet, never wanting him to get dirty or play in the dirt like little boys do. And if he even got a scratch or fell down, someone was in trouble, and it was not going to be Robert. Robert was his mom’s whole world.

On October 24, 2014, Robert was incarcerated at Smith County Jail (Tyler Texas) on a 180 day commitment for nonpayment of child support. He was in the low risk unit in Tyler. We do know on Oct 31 he was still at the low risk until, so sometime over the weekend he was moved back to downtown and put in a one man cell. On November 3, 2014—only 10 days later—Robert was found dead in his cell. Robert was only 27 and had no medical issues when he went into jail.

We think that Robert was detoxing from Xanax, and Smith County was told about this many times by Robert’s mother, Gloria. She was told that they would make note of it and see if they could give him something to help with the detoxing. We still do this day do not know if he was ever given any thing.

Smith County has not given us any answers to what happen to Robert. Robert’s body was taken to Dallas for autopsy. So until that is back we still don’t know what happened. Smith County is known for its corruption and we think that they are going to cover up what really happened to Robert.

Thank you Texas jail project for listening to me and letting me share Roberts’s story. It is important to us that people hear about him and how much his family and friends loved him.

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Dee Ann Newell

Too many Roberts in our jails and prisons. Too few caring people who will be vigilant about their well-beng. It is our responsibility. Dee Ann Newell