Correctional officials at a local Virginia jail left a 24 year old man arrested for stealing $5.05 worth of candy and soda to starve to death in a filth-ridden jail cell with walls covered in feces, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the deceased man’s aunt.
Jamycheal Mitchell was found dead in his jail cell last August, and the cause of death was labeled “a heart condition accompanying wasting syndrome of unknown etiology”. But according to the lawsuit, its much more complicated than that.
Jail staff at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail allegedly denied Jamycheal many meals, cut off the water to his cell and left him naked with no bedding or shoes as Jaymycheal–who reportedly suffered from mental health issues–smeared feces on the window of his urine-covered cell, the lawsuit states, citing numerous inmates who served time with Mitchell.
Mitchell lost about 40 pounds during his time in jail, documents say. A medical examiner said he was “nearly cachectic,” meaning his weight loss could not be reversed via nutrition–terms usually reserved to describe severe weight loss in people suffering from AIDS or certain forms of advanced immune diseases, including some cancers.
Jamycheal’s fellow inmates say they pleaded with officers to help the deteriorating young man, but their cries fell on deaf ears.
When he was arrested, Mitchell was listed as being 6-foot-1 and weighing 180 pounds. After 4 months of detainment–for allegedly stealing a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers and a Little Debbie Zebra Cake from a 7-Eleven–his aunt said he looked to weigh about 90 pounds and appeared 70 years old.
The 112-page lawsuit filed last week outlines the litany of allegations against 39 defendants, including the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, the state Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services and the private prison health care firm, NaphCare.
Jamycheal Mitchell’s aunt has requested a jury trial, and a $60 million verdict.