Sheriff: Richmond jail inmate died of seizure from 2007 shooting

Published: Oct. 15, 2015 at 3:54 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The death of an inmate at the Richmond City Jail was caused by a seizure stemming from a gunshot wound eight years earlier, according to the Richmond Sheriff's Office.

Zachary Tuggle was one of three inmates who died in a single week in July. The autopsy and toxicology completed by the Medical Examiner's Office shows Tuggle died on July 13 due to a post-traumatic seizure caused by a gunshot wound to the head in 2007. Sheriffs say Tuggle "routinely refused prescribed medication which helped prevent seizures," though the toxicology report showed seizure medication "within a therapeutic range" in his system.

"Jail residents have the right to refuse their medications. Furthermore, due to Federal regulations, neither medical staff nor our deputies may discuss a person's medical treatment with anyone else, unless the person receiving treatment signs a release," said Sheriff Woody. He continued, "It is our duty to follow all investigations wherever they lead, leaving no stone unturned, and avoiding speculation. When it comes to the death of a loved one,

Tuggle had a medical emergency in his cell in the Richmond City Justice Center at 12:24 p.m. Emergency crews arrived 12 minutes later, but Tuggle was pronounced dead at 1:11 p.m., according to sheriffs.

Shawn Samuel and Javon Antoine Morris also died within a 72-hour period at the jail.

Samuel, 22, was found unresponsive in his fifth-floor cell around 3:16 a.m. Wednesday, according to sheriffs. He died at 3:53 a.m. according to Richmond Police. Sheriffs say he died of a heroin overdose.

The same evening, medical staff were called to help with a medical emergency on the medical tier of the jail. The call came in at 6:46 p.m., and EMS was on scene in under 10 minutes. Morris, 38, was taken to VCU Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead around 8:22 p.m., according to sheriffs. Sheriffs say he died of natural causes.

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