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Inmate death at Halifax satellite jail under review

South Boston News
Mayo / October 07, 2019
Corrections officials and town of Halifax police are awaiting the results of a medical examiner’s report to determine what happened to an inmate at the Halifax County Adult Detention Center who died unexpectedly on Sept. 7 — the first inmate death to occur at the local jail in recent memory.

“I’ve been here for 11 years and I don’t recall any deaths at the Halifax facility,” said Tim Trent, administrator of the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority in Amherst. The Halifax satellite jail is part of the BRRJA.

The inmate, 37-year-old Edward Lee Mayo of Scottsville, was outside walking for exercise at the jail’s recreational area when he collapsed suddenly, according to officials. He was rushed to the emergency room at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“From the investigation, everything points to natural causes,” possibly a heart attack, in Mayo’s death, said Trent. The state medical examiner’s office will make the final determination after reviewing the results of an autopsy.

Mayo’s death is being investigated by the Town of Halifax police department at the request of the BRRJA. Trent said he asked for the independent review by Halifax Town Police.

Investigator M.W. Bowen with the Halifax department said no foul play is suspected and the inmate death could the result of a heart ailment. Mayo was with other inmates when “they were out walking in the rec area,” said Bowen. According to witnesses, Mayo stopped walking, fell backwards and collapsed in the yard.

The Halifax County Rescue Squad were summoned immediately to the scene along with town police, Bowen said. He added that Halifax Police have not yet heard from the medical examiner’s office in providing an official cause of death.

Mayo was serving time at the Halifax jail after being convicted of violating probation on a prior felony offense. In 2016, Mayo was convicted of grand larceny in Buckingham County Circuit Court and sentenced to an active prison sentence of one year and six months, followed by three years’ probation after his release, according to Buckingham court records.

In the spring, Mayo was sent back to jail for violating parole after being convicted of the felony offenses in both Buckingham and Amherst counties. He received added jail time of five months in Buckingham and 10 months in Amherst. The Amherst charge was failing to register as a violent sex offender, according to jail records.

Investigator Bowen said the Halifax department has not had any contact with family members of Mayo’s following his death.

An online obituary posted by Thacker Brothers Funeral Home in Palmyra states that Mayo was a resident of Scottsville and is survived by his wife, two sons, a sister, four uncles, cousins and other relatives.

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