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Lawsuit: Mentally-Ill Man Starved to Death in Virginia Jail
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Jamycheal Mitchell. Photo courtesy of Heavy.

Summary: A lawsuit claims a Virginia jail allowed a mentally ill man to starve to death. He was serving time for stealing $5 worth of food from 7-11.

A new lawsuit alleges that a 24-year-old mentally ill man was left to starve to death in jail. Jamycheal Mitchell’s aunt says that he was arrested for stealing almost $5 worth of sweets and soda on April 22, 2015, and then he was cruelly abused by jail staff at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail until his body deteriorated from famine.


According to the lawsuit, Mitchell was diagnosed as disabled when in fourth grade and the next year he was diagnosed as bipolar. In tenth grade, he dropped out of school because he was not able to keep up with his classmates. At Hamptons, he was known to be psychotic and delusional, and his file stated that he needed mental health care.

Mitchell died in August of a heart condition accompanied by “wasting syndrome,” CNN reports. Jail staff reportedly did not feed him, cut off his water supply, denied him medication, and left him naked in a cell with no bedding or toilet. The lawsuit said fellow inmates testified that his cell was covered with urine and feces.

A medical examiner said Mitchell’s body’s weight loss could not be reversed. He had lost 40 pounds while in jail, but documents say the jail did not weigh him or keep any records of his health.

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His aunt, Roxanna Adams, said he was 90 lbs and “looked 70 years old.” She is suing 39 defendants, which include Hampton Roads Regional Jail and the state Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services.

Adams is seeking a jury trial and $60 million in damages. She claims wanton negligence and five counts of civil rights deprivation.

According to the lawsuit, inmates begged guards to take care of Mitchell, but their pleas were ignored. Jail spokesman Lt. Col. Eugene Taylor and jail attorney Jeff Rosen could not comment about the case at this time.

Adams also sued mental health provider NaphCare, who stated that its employees “took appropriate steps” to have Mitchell transferred to a mental health facility. Maria Reppas of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services said the department is taking steps to shorten wait times for transfers.

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: CNN



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