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Heart of teen with special needs attacked in Harris County jail donated to child

Fred Harris, 19, died after he was stabbed and beaten by another inmate, according to attorney Randall Kallinen said.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The heart of a Harris County inmate with disabilities has been given to a child in need after the donor was brutally attacked while in custody, according to the family's attorney.

Fred Harris, 19, was only 98 pounds at the time of his death.

The teen was inside the jail when another inmate more than twice his size stabbed, kicked and beat him on Oct. 29, attorney Randall Kallinen said.

His organs were donated a few days later.

The other inmate, Michael Paul Ownby, 25, was charged with aggravated assault with severe bodily injury after the incident.

"May Fred rest in the peace he did not find in the last weeks of his life," Kallinen said in a release.

RELATED: Mom wants answers after teen with special needs stabbed, beaten at Harris County Jail

Fred was in jail because he showed a knife to someone he was afraid of, the attorney said. He said the teen had never been in trouble before and was a well-liked special education student when he attended Stratford High School.

His schoolmates are planning a celebration of his life, mother Dallas Harris said.

"Fred was a super loving kid," she said. "He wanted to fit in more than anything."

Kallinen said inmates and staff at the jail are at high risk because of overcrowding and staffing issues. He's representing deputies and jailers in a federal lawsuit against Harris County, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

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