Inmate dies after medical emergency at Western Virginia Regional Jail

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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — An inmate awaiting trial for fraud and narcotics charges in various southwest Virginia cities died Sunday morning after he was found unresponsive in his cell at the Western Virginia Regional Jail (WVRJ), according to jail officials.

WVRJ says a 38-year-old inmate by the name of Joseph Evan Osbourne was found unresponsive on Sunday, April 19. Both medical and security staff initiated lifesaving measures — including CPR — while Roanoke County Fire-EMS personnel were dispatched to the jail and took over lifesaving measures, according to officials. Authorities say Osbourne was pronounced dead at 7:25 a.m. on Sunday.

According to the jail, WVRJ officers interacted with Osbourne before the medical emergency.

The Roanoke County Police Department launched an investigation and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke will perform an autopsy, officials say. At this point, WVRJ says all information indicates this death was due to natural causes and there is no evidence to suggest this death is connected to the coronavirus.

Authorities say Osbourne was committed to WVRJ on March 8 and was awaiting trial for a fraud charge in Salem, a probation violation and a narcotics charge in Danville, and a narcotics charge in Martinsville.

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