Orleans Parish Prison inmate Wardel Taylor, aka Kevin Taylor, died yesterday — his 36th birthday — after collapsing apparently from cardiac arrest, according to an emailed statement from the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office (OPSO).
Update (5 p.m.): “The preliminary autopsy confirms heart attack as the cause of death for Wardel Taylor," reads a statement from OPSO medical director Dr. Samuel Gore.
Online inmate records do not show any Wardel Taylor or a Kevin Taylor with a Feb. 28, 1977 date of birth. There is a Kevin Taylor, aka Wardel Taylor, arrested in Janurary 2012, charged with aggravated rape and being held on a $1 million bond, as described in the press release. But he was born on October 8, 1973.
OPSO officials did not immediately return requests for clarification.
From spokesperson Lindsey Meaux, in an email:
"Kevin Taylor is the name of Wardel's brother and the name Wardel was booked into OPSO custody under. The OPSO has confirmed that the person who died yesterday was indeed Wardel Taylor and that his DOB was what was reported in our statement."
Meaux did not indicate in her statement how or why the mix-up may have occurred.
The earlier press release from the sheriff's office:
NEW ORLEANS — March 1, 2013 — Following is a statement from Samuel Gore, M.D., medical director of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, regarding the death of an inmate:
"On Feb. 28, inmate Wardel Taylor, a male born Feb. 28, 1977, collapsed on the tier with apparent cardiac arrest. He received immediate attention by the Sheriff’s Office Medical Staff and Orleans Parish EMS. Taylor was transferred to the Interim LSU Hospital for further care, where he passed away.
Inmate Taylor was arrested Jan. 3, 2012, on charges of Aggravated Rape. He was being held on a $1 million bond. He also used the alias Kevin Taylor.
A full autopsy, including toxicology testing, is pending with the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office."
See our recent story on the death of another OPP inmate.