Virginia State Police to investigate new allegations in Jamycheal Mitchell’s death

Posted at 11:59 AM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 17:29:26-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - New allegations in the death of Jamycheal Mitchell have Virginia State Police (VSP) investigators digging even deeper into the case.

According to the Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, new allegations surrounding the circumstances of Mitchell's death were made on Friday.

The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney did not go into detail about the new allegations.

"Once this process is concluded and once all findings have been turned over to the Commonwealth's Attorney, there will be a review and final prosecutorial determination," said a spokesperson for the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Mitchell, a mentally ill man, was 24-years-old when he died in a jail cell at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail on August 19, 2015. Family members claim Mitchell literally withered away for four months, eventually dying of wasting syndrome.

Jamycheal Mitchell

Mitchell was arrested in April 2015 for stealing $5 in food from a Portsmouth convenience store, and was awaiting a bed at a mental health hospital thanks to an order from a judge.

However, after Mitchell's death, an investigation by a state health agency discovered that order never made it into the right hands. Instead, investigators discovered the order sat in a file drawer for weeks, and was only rediscovered five days after Mitchell died.

VSP investigators were brought in to see if any criminal charges should be filed in Mitchell's death. Officials with VSP tell News 3 they turned over their findings in December, but were waiting on the Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney, Stephanie Morales, to make a decision.

"These are new allegations, but the same investigation," said Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for VSP told News 3's Merris Badcock via phone on Tuesday. "The investigation was never closed since [Morales] had not made a decision."

Now, these new allegations will put state police investigators back to work, and Morales will not be able to make a decision on whether or not anyone should face criminal charges in Mitchell's death until after this portion of the investigation is complete.

In a statement to News 3, the assistant superintendent for the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, Linda Bryant, issued this statement regarding the new allegations:

“We appreciate the thoroughness with which the Virginia State Police and the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney are handling this investigation. We will continue to provide our full cooperation to the Virginia State Police and the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney.”