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Two Hampton Roads Regional Jail inmates die while in custody

Justice Department opens investigation into Hampton Roads Regional Jail
Posted at 8:40 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 20:40:22-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Officials at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail announced that two of its inmates died Thursday.

They say 49-year-old Keith Andre Robinson began his morning baking preparation at 1:46 p.m. when he collapsed in the kitchen. Jail officials tried to revive Robinson until Portsmouth EMS personnel arrived on scene and took over.

Robinson was pronounced dead at 2:49 p.m.

Two separate investigations are underway: An internal investigation by the jail and one by the Portsmouth Police Department, which officials say is standard procedure.

Officials say Robinson was serving two years and six months for possession of marijuana with intent, serving time for a Parole Board Warrant (three years and six months) and was on hold for the U.S. Marshals for a federal probation violation.

Later Thursday, the jail announced that another inmate had died while hospitalized at Maryview Medical Center.

Officials say 74-year-old William Fenton had been hospitalized since January 27 and had been in end-of-life care between Maryview and HRRJ for the last few months.

According to the jail, its policy is to solicit a Compassion Release for any inmate whose health deteriorates drastically or for inmates who medical providers diagnose as terminally ill. Jail officials say their "best efforts" to get a release for Felton were "not successful."

The jail says the court of Norfolk determines whether a release would pose a safety or security risk to the community. Felton was a pre-trial inmate who was charged with Second-Degree Murder for the stabbing death of 71-year-old Reginald F. Mitchell at a senior living facility/retirement home in Norfolk in December 2019.

Felton had a pending court date of March 3.

Stay with News 3 for updates.