Investigation closed following inmate death at SW Virginia Regional Jail in May
Autopsy results have been published for a female inmate who died while in custody at a Southwest Virginia Regional Jail complex and authorities have concluded no charges will be filed.
A death investigation was launched in May by the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and the State Police after Sherri D. Cook, 43, of Whitesburg, Kentucky, was found dead after being placed in a special chair for her own safety at the agency’s Duffield complex. She was later found unresponsive.
The investigation revealed Cook, a child abuse suspect, had a concentration of meth, THC, and pain medication in her system and had suffered a hemorrhage while in jail.
Here is the joint statement issued Thursday afternoon by local and state authorities:
In consultation with the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Virginia State Police has concluded its investigation into the death of a Kentucky woman at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield. No charges will be placed.
“There is no mistaking that Ms. Cook’s death was tragic and I extend my condolences to her family during this difficult time,” said Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Kyle Kilgore. “However, after a thorough review by me and my office of the body cam footage from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the in-house video at the jail facility, the Medical Examiner’s complete autopsy report, and the investigative findings by the state police, there is no evidence to support any wrongdoing or criminal act was committed by the jail staff in connection with her death.”
On May 20, 2022, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office initiated an investigation into Cook’s death at the jail in Duffield. Earlier that same day, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office brought Sherri D. Cook, 43, of Whitesburg, Ky., to the jail for processing on charges of DWI and Child Neglect. Due to her behavior, self-inflicted injuries, and refusal of medical treatment she was secured in a safety chair. At 7:06 p.m., jail officials found Cook to be unresponsive and they immediately began administering CPR. She was transported to a Wise County hospital where she was declared deceased. Her body was transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke, Va. for examination and autopsy.
The autopsy report confirmed an acute subdural hemorrhage with contributing Methamphetamine toxicity. As well as, Buprenorphine and Delta-9 carboxy THC in Cook’s system at the time of her death.”
(IMAGE: Virginia State Police / Official Facebook)