Saturday, September 03, 2011

Western Virginia Regional Jail inmate dies awaiting trial

A Western Virginia Regional Jail inmate died early Friday, apparently of natural causes.

Correctional officers found Ray William Sprouse, 52, unresponsive in his cell about 3:30 a.m., according to a jail news release. Officers and medical staff attempted to revive him, but he was pronounced dead by Roanoke County emergency responders at 3:47 a.m.

Sprouse was being held without bail while awaiting trial on a charge of property damage in Roanoke County, the release said. Online court records indicate he was arrested Aug. 28, and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in his case at 10 a.m. Friday.

Sprouse had multiple medical problems and was under the care of the jail's medical department, the release said. He had been in regular contact with jail staff in the days and hours preceding his death, according to the release.

The chief medical examiner in Roanoke will perform an autopsy to identify the cause of Sprouse's death.

-- Matt Chittum

Weather Journal

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