Teenager found unconscious in Norfolk holding cell dies

Officers found the boy unresponsive in a holding cell inside the Norfolk Circuit Court building

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Police said Friday that a 17-year-old boy whom sheriff's office staff members found unresponsive in a holding cell died.

The teenager was in the Norfolk Circuit Courthouse on Thursday, awaiting a hearing regarding the status of his case to start. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

The 17-year-old faced charges including Malicious Wounding (2 counts), Attempted Malicious Wounding, and Threatening a School Employee.

Police charged the teenager at Maury High School on April 26, 2017.

Deputies, who are required to check on detainees at least twice an hour, found him in the cell Thursday. They administered CPR until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.

The sheriff's office does not believe foul play was a factor. It was either a medical condition, an accident, or self-inflicted.

"One holding cell, one inmate... which is why we don't suspect foul play, because he was in a cell by himself," said Sheriff Joe Baron. "Hope this juvenile pulls through but if he doesn't then obviously we want to answer any questions for public,"

The Norfolk Police Department is handling the investigation.

"We turned everything over to the police department, including video. We have video inside all holding areas that will give us a time frame, looking forward to seeing that," said Baron.

Baron said he believes deputies were following proper protocol. 

"What I would like to see happen is to have a complete investigation, everything we knew, when we knew it, and whether there is anything we should have done differently," said Baron.

The sheriff's office is not releasing the teenager's name because he is a minor. Deputies also said as far as they know, he had no medical conditions or suicidal tendencies.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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