Names of inmates who died at Richmond jail released

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-17 17:48:19-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. released the names of the three inmates who died at the city jail over a 72-hour period.

Twenty-nine-year-old inmate Zachary E. Tuggle was involved in a medical emergency in his cell on the sixth floor of the jail on July 13 at 12:24 p.m.

According to the sheriff, the medical department responded immediately and began to administer medical treatment. Richmond Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived on the scene 12 minutes later.

At 1:11 p.m. Tuggle was pronounced dead. The Richmond Police Department was called and arrived at 2:10 p.m., and began a joint investigation into his death.

“At this time we are awaiting both the preliminary autopsy report and toxicology report from the Office of the Medical Examiner in order to determine the exact cause and manner of death,” Sheriff Woody said.

Tuggle was booked into the jail on Oct. 31, 2014 on two weapons charges, a narcotics charge and a larceny charge.

Then during a cell check, 22-year-old inmate Shawn Samuel was found to be unresponsive in his cell on the fifth floor on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 3:16 a.m. Jail medical staff and EMS responded and attempted life-saving measures, but were unable to revive him, according to the sheriff.

Samuel was pronounced deceased at 3:53 a.m. and Richmond Police Detectives, Forensics Unit officers, and the Medical Examiner responded.

The preliminary report from the Office of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Kevin Whaley, stated that no signs of foul play were found. The final autopsy report cannot be issued until toxicology results are known.

Samuel was booked into the jail on Sept. 29, 2014. He was serving a sentence of two years and eight months with 10 years suspended, on three larceny charges -- one escape charge and two burglary charges.

Jail medical staff contacted EMS for assistance with a medical emergency involving 38-year-old Javon Antoine Morris, an inmate housed in the jail's medical tier, on July 15, 2015 at 6:46 p.m.

EMS responded at 6:55 p.m. and Morris was transported to VCU Medical Center. He was pronounced deceased at 8:22 p.m.

"As is standard protocol, Richmond Police Department was contacted to lead a joint investigation. In this case, since the death did not occur at the jail, Richmond Police will not be completing a follow up report," officials said.

The sheriff's office is awaiting the final report from the Office of the Medical Examiner to complete the dual investigation.

Morris was booked into the jail on July 14, 2015 and was scheduled to appear in court in August on assault charges.

Officials said these were the only details about the deaths that could be released since the fatalities are part of an ongoing investigation.

“We recognize that each of these incidents is a private, tragic situation for the families involved, and we mourn with them the loss of their loved ones," Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. said in a statement. "As we stated previously, we are working with the Richmond Police Department to thoroughly investigate each situation in order to provide the families with the answers they deserve.”


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