A Virginia man who was arrested for stealing $5 worth of snacks has died in jail
After being held in Hampton Roads Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia since May 11, 2015, Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, has died. Mitchell was found unresponsive in his cell about 5:45 AM on August 19, 2015 and he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Mr. Mitchell was arrested on April 22nd for petty larceny. A store clerk at the 7-Eleven claimed Mitchell had stolen a bottle of soda, a candy bar and a small cake. According to court records Mitchell’s past charges have included petty theft, larceny and trespassing.
Jail officials told the Virginia-Pilot newspaper that he was being held there because he could not be placed with a mental hospital though he was prescribed meds. While police are still investigating the cause of death, family members told the Guardian newspaper that Mitchell had stopped eating and had a history of mental illness taking medication in the past.
The Guardian, which published the initial report, spoke to the family before the medical examiner determines Mitchell’s cause of death. Ms. Holley could not confirm reports that he was starving himself or not taking medication. She told The Guardian,
His body failed and he lost up to 65lbs (29kg) in jail…Once we get results of the autopsy, we will know if there is any foul play, that determines what routes we go.”
A spokeswoman for the Hampton Roads Regional Jail has declined to make a statement as the family awaits the autopsy report.