Justice

#BlackLivesMatter: Young Man Held 4 Months In Snickers Theft Dies In Jail, Family Thinks He Starved

  • by: Alan Duke

A young black man charged with shoplifting a Snickers bar and a Mountain Dew died in a Virginia jail where he had been held since he was arrested in April. Jamycheal Mitchell's family says he apparently starved to death in his jail cell, but the medical examiner's office told Lead Stories it will be at least three months before they'll make public findings of the death investigation.

The "cause and manner of death is pending further investigation," Virginia Medical Examiner's spokeswoman Donna Price told Lead Stories.

Details of Mitchell's August 19, 2015, death were first reported by The Guardian newspaper of London on August 28, a story which Lead Stories' Trendolizer detected as trending on social networks. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/28/jamycheal-mitchell-virginia-jail-found-dead

Mitchell's family told the Guardian they suspect that the 24-year-old, who suffered mental health problems, died of starvation after refusing to eat or take medications after waiting months in jail to go to court on the misdemeanor charges.

"His body failed," Mitchell's aunt Roxanne Adams told the newspaper. "It is extraordinary. The person I saw deceased was not even the same person." She said her nephew had practically no muscle mass left when he died.

The newspaper quoted an official at the Hampton Roads regional jail in Portsmouth, Virgina, saying that Mitchell's death is not being treated as suspicious. "As of right now it is deemed 'natural causes'," master jail officer Natasha Perry said. She told the paper there were no obvious outward signs of injury to his body.

Mitchell was arrested on April 22, 2015, after a report that he shoplifted from 7-11 convenience store in Portsmouth, the paper said.

Lead Stories' Trendolizer constantly scouring the social networks for the hottest trending stories the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Scroll down to see the latest.

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