Mentally-ill man jailed 4 months for allegedly stealing $5 of snacks from Portsmouth 7-Eleven dies in cell

Posted at 1:05 AM, Aug 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-31 06:44:00-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- A mentally ill man who was jailed for nearly four months because he allegedly stole $5 worth of snacks from a Portsmouth 7-Eleven was found dead in his cell Wednesday after family members said he wasted away.

WTKR spokewith Sonia Adams, the man's mother Saturday. Adams is haunted by the fact that her son died alone.


Roxanne and Sonia Adams.

“He died by himself. We don’t know if he said anything,” Adams sobbed. “God knows how long he was on the floor.

The body of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell was found inside the Hampton Roads Regional Jail on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Jail officials said there was no indication of foul play nor signs of assault or injuries.

Mitchell's death comes nearly four months after he was jailed for stealing $5 worth of snacks -- a Snickers bar, a Zebra cake and a bottle of Mountain Dew -- from a 7-Eleven convenience store.

Hampton Roads Regional Jail

Hampton Roads Regional Jail

Four months later and no bond, his aunt, Roxanne Adams, told WTKR her nephew had withered away and was "unrecognizable."

Roxanne Adams believes Mitchell, who was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia, starved to death because he refused to take his medication in jail.

In fact, the nurse said her nephew, who was six feet three inches tall and weighed 185 pounds appeared, looked like a different person.

“I said, 'This is not my nephew,'” Roxanne Adams explained as her sister cried. “I asked them, 'Are you sure you have the right person?'"

She said she at first thought there had been a mistake and thought it was not her nephew'since the body appeared to be that of a 70-year-old weighing in her estimate only 90 pounds.

Mitchell was never granted bond because his family said a judge declared him mentally unfit to stand trial. As a result, he was ordered to be transferred to Eastern State Hospital, a state-run mental hospital in Williamsburg.

Eastern State Hospital

However, Adams said she was told there were no beds available.

“If he would’ve gone to Eastern State we wouldn’t be going through what we’re going through now,” Roxanne Adams.

Police, who have not provided additional information, said they are investigating Mitchell’s death as suspicious.

WTKR tried repeatedly to get an update from the jail, but the person we spoke with said they do not provide information on the weekend.

Jamycheal Mitchell

Jamycheal Mitchell



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