Portsmouth CA requests special grand jury in Jamycheal Mitchell case

Jamycheal Mitchell

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney has requested a special grand jury for the Jamycheal Mitchell case.

A news release Wednesday said the Commonwealth’s Attorney has filed a motion with the Portsmouth Circuit Court. A judge must still sign off on the request.

Mitchell died of apparent starvation at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in August of 2015.

If impaneled, the special grand jury would be made up of seven to 11 citizens. The special grand jury would have power to investigate, call witnesses and hear testimony. Their hearings are confidential. At the conclusion of its work, the special grand jury could return a “true bill” of indictment. According to Virginia Code, a “true bill” may be returned upon the testimony of — or evidence produced by — any witness who was called by the grand jury, upon evidence presented or sent to it.”

The jail released a statement Wednesday from Superintendent Ronaldo Myers:

 We welcome any and as many investigations or inquiries as the appropriate federal, state and local authorities deem necessary. We will continue to provide our unfettered cooperation to all law enforcement authorities, as we continue to remain vigilant and as we continually work tirelessly to get better.”

This motion follows a request from the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Virginia State Police to investigate new allegations into Mitchell’s death.

Mitchell’s family is suing Hampton Roads Regional Jail and representatives from state agencies for $60 million. In a statement today, Mark Krudys, the attorney representing the family in the lawsuit, said:

The family is encouraged by the news. This is not the initiation of an investigation, they were at an assessment point where Morales came to the conclusion that a special grand jury should be convened. The family is encouraged by Morales’ tenacity.”