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State probing death of inmate

State probing death of inmate

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A 68-year-old inmate at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw apparently committed suicide last week.

According to a three-sentence news release issued by the jail, James Colbert Landman was pronounced dead of asphyxiation at 4:17 a.m. Wednesday at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital.

Jail Superintendent Jeffery W. Frazier said the "Virginia State Police--Bureau of Criminal Investigation are conducting a routine investigation of the facts surrounding Mr. Landman's death."

Westmoreland County friends of Landman said he hanged himself with a bed sheet in a shower.

A Maryland native, Landman lived much of his life in the Westmoreland communities of Tidwells and Coles Point. He will be buried in Maryland Jan. 2, his friends said.

Frazier said Landman was jailed Aug. 18 on a parole violation. He was scheduled to serve a six-month sentence.

Landman's death was the second suicide at the jail in two years.

In July 2006, Timmy Groves, 40, of Oak Grove died after strangling on a telephone cord. A jail investigation ruled his death a suicide.

"I was never satisfied with the jail's investigation," Grove's mother Janice said yesterday.

"They said he hung himself with an 18-inch telephone cord. Timmy had an 18-inch neck. Now how could he do that?" she said.

Jail Board Chairman Darryl E. Fisher, who is also chairman of the Westmoreland Board of Supervisors, said Friday that the circumstances of Landman's death are "not something we're going to sweep under the rug, but we may not be able to say anything if we face some liability."

Last month, the jail reported 425 local, state and federal inmates to a state agency.

Among them was former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who pleaded guilty to sponsoring dog fights. A federal judge in Richmond sentenced Vick Dec. 14 to 23 months in prison.

Frazier refused to say Friday whether Vick was still jailed in Warsaw.

Frank Delano: 804/333-3834


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