By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
5:34 PM EST, January 4, 2013
The death of a man at Eastern Regional Jail on Sunday night is under investigation internally and by the West Virginia State Police, but authorities said Friday they have found no evidence of foul play.
John A. Poole, 30, was found alone in his cell slumped over with a bed sheet around his neck about 8 p.m., Sunday, jail administrator John J. Sheeley said Friday.
While Poole’s death remains under investigation, West Virginia State Police Sgt. J.D. Burkhart said Friday that the investigating officer, Trooper T.W. Cook, has not found any evidence that would lead him to believe the death was suspicious.
Police have yet to receive the results of an autopsy examination, which Burkhart said was conducted in Morgantown, W.Va.
Based upon the circumstances, Burkhart indicated it appeared Poole died from an apparent suicide.
Cook and another trooper responded to the jail at 9:12 p.m. for a report of a deceased inmate, Burkhart said..
Poole, who was admitted to the jail about 3:15 p.m. Saturday, according to Sheeley, was pronounced dead at 8:55 p.m., Burkhart said.
Sheeley said Poole was found unconscious and wasn’t breathing and the jail’s medical staff was unable to revive him, Sheeley said.
Sheeley said Poole was clothed, wearing jail orange and jail staff did not notice anything out of the ordinary in his cell.
“I thought our staff under difficult circumstances did the best they could,” Sheeley said. “Our condolences go out to the family.”
Services for Poole, of Hedgesville, W.Va., were held Friday at Brown Funeral Home.
Poole was put in jail on a capias, which was issued in May 2012, according to court documents. A probation officer filed a petition in Berkeley County Circuit Court alleging Poole violated terms of probation stemming from a grand larceny conviction in 2009, according to court documents. Poole had been placed probation for five years, according to court documents.
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