Mentally ill black man charged with stealing $5 in snacks found starved to death in his cell

Mitchell, Mentally Ill, btbA mentally-ill black man who was held in jail for four months after stealing just $5 worth of snacks starved to death in a cell, his family claim.

Jamycheal Mitchell was arrested in April after taking a bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake from a 7-Eleven in Portsmouth, Virginia.

The 24 year old was kept in custody without bail, despite only facing misdemeanor charges, until guards discovered his body on the floor of his cell on Wednesday.

A judge said he was unfit to stand trial and asked he be sent to Eastern State mental health hospital – but they allegedly said they had no beds left.

Natasha Perry, the master jail officer at the Hampton Roads regional jail where Mitchell was being held told The Guardian his death is not being treated as suspicious – even though they have not yet performed an autopsy.

Mitchell’s family claim he starved to death after refusing meals and medication.

His aunt Roxanne Adams, who is a registered nurse, said he had practically no muscle mass left by the time of his death.

She told the newspaper: ‘His body failed. It is extraordinary. The person I saw deceased was not even the same person.’

Adams also revealed her nephew, who was nicknamed Weezy, had suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia for about five years.

‘He just chain-smoked and made people laugh. He never did anything serious, never harmed anybody,’ she added.

As he was not taking his medication, Mitchell hadn’t added his family’s names to their approved visitor list, so they were unable to witness his gradual deterioration.’

Adams told The Guardian that when she eventually got to see him during a court appearance, he had lost 65 pounds and was ‘extremely emaciated’.

Mitchell was arrested on the same day Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin shot unarmed 18-year-old William Chapman outside a Walmart around 2.5miles away.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney is now seeking criminal charges against Rankin after completing their investigation earlier this month.

Court officials, the police department and the jail did not explain to The Guardian why Mitchell was not given the opportunity to be released on bail.

Prison officials also denied any knowledge Mitchell had refused his medication and food.

Source: The DailyMail

scroll to top