Aventura / Sunny Isles


Funeral set Monday for man strangled by another patient at Aventura Hospital



Raul Alexander “Alex” Rios will be laid to rest Monday as his family saw him: an angel.

“There will be a lot of white flowers,” said his younger sister, Francis Paloumbis. “He was our angel.”

While the family prepares to say goodbye to Rios, who struggled most of his life with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, the man accused of strangling him at Aventura Hospital last week sits in Miami-Dade County jail. His arraignment on a first-degree murder charge is July 18.

Alexander Thadeus Jackson, 31, who goes by several aliases, has a long history of arrests in Florida and North Carolina.

According to Florida records, Jackson has 12 previous arrests on charges that include marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance, petit theft and larceny in Vero Beach and Indian River County. He was arrested several times in North Carolina, including on a charge of assault on a female, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

“Clearly the man was dangerous, and it was easy to figure out he was dangerous,” said Ervin Gonzalez, the attorney representing Rios’ family. “[The hospital] could have prevented this from happening by keeping that monster away from my helpless client.”

Gonzalez said, “It’s just common sense.

“If somebody's in the mental ward there has to adequate supervision and there has to be adequate security,” he said. “The family left Raul there in their care where they knew he would be safe and the hospital violated all rules of decency by allowing him to die at the hands of a criminal, right underneath the hospital's nose.”

A funeral will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at Fred Hunter’s Funeral Home, 6301 Taft St., Hollywood.

Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle contributed to this report.

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