Prosecutors: Probe of inmate’s death blocked by resistance

Prosecutors: Probe of inmate’s death blocked by resistance
A report released Wednesday by Portsmouth prosecutors says the jail’s medical provider has failed to make eight witnesses available for interviews.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors in Virginia investigating the 2015 death of a mentally ill man jailed for stealing $5 in snacks say they are still missing information that could help them determine if criminal charges could be filed.

A report released Wednesday by Portsmouth prosecutors says the jail’s medical provider has failed to make eight witnesses available for interviews.

Jamycheal Mitchell had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He was ordered to a state mental hospital, but he was never sent there. He died in jail of heart failure accompanied by severe weight loss.

The report says Mitchell was likely deteriorating before he was taken into custody. It says the actions and inactions of correctional officers and medical staff "potentially contributed to but likely did not directly cause" Mitchell's weight loss or death.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)