Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 25, 2012

Virginia inmate’s death under investigation

POCAHONTAS, Va. — The Virginia Department of Corrections is investigating the death of an inmate at the Pocahontas State Correctional Center in Tazewell County.

Larry Traylor, a spokesperson with the Virginia Department of Corrections, said an unidentified male inmate at the facility died Sunday.

“There was an inmate death early Sunday morning,” Traylor said. “We are not sure of the time of death, but the incident began around 6 a.m.”

Traylor said the state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

“We are not sure how long it will take for the medical examiner’s investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Traylor said there will be an internal investigation into the inmate’s death.

“There is an investigation underway by the Virginia Department of Corrections inspector general,” Traylor said. “This is what any law enforcement agency would do. I am sure a lot of questions will be asked. This is what we do anytime there is an incident like this.”

The Pocahontas State Correctional Center is a security level three facility and has the potential to house 1,024 inmates. The facility was opened in 2007, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections.

— Contact Kate Coil at

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