A Harris County man who faces charges in a 1987 murder has died, two days after being taken into custody.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 71-year old Roman Martinez was being held in a downtown facility for parole violators, and died in the hospital following “cardiac arrest and multiple organ failures.”   An autopsy is pending.

Earlier this week, Harris County Sheriff’s Department officials announced Martinez was being charged with capital murder in the death of his former neighbor.  Jacqueline Hernandez was discovered bound and strangled in her north Houston apartment; investigators believe she walked in on a robbery in progress.  Deputies claim Martinez admitted to the break-in, but claimed that Hernandez was alive when he left.

Martinez has a criminal history dating back to the 1950’s, including theft, aggravated burglary, drug possession, and rape.  He was also a registered sex offender in El Paso.  He was sentenced to 40-years in prison on a burglary charge in 1989 and was released on mandatory supervision in October 2005.