Another person in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center has died.
Latasha Dove, a 53-year-old woman, was found unresponsive in her cell at the jail on Tuesday (Aug. 1) afternoon, the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday (Wednesday).
According to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, the post deputy called in a medical emergency at 2:27 p.m. Scanner traffic on Open MHz indicates that an Emergency Medical Services team from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched for a cardiac arrest around 2:31 p.m.
“The deputy immediately rendered aid until relieved by ADC medical personnel. Rescue arrived and transported the inmate to the hospital,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Dove was declared dead at the hospital at 3:13 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
Dove’s death is now being investigated by the FCPD, as required by county policy.
According to the police and court records, Dove was arrested on July 26 and faced charges of simple assault and property destruction. The assault charge was a misdemeanor, while the destruction of property charge was a class 6 felony, meaning the value of the destroyed property was over $1,000.
Dove remained in custody at the jail after Fairfax County General District Court Judge Mark Simmons set a cash bond for her at a bond hearing on Monday (July 31).
“The judge decided that she was an appropriate candidate for bail yet set a cash bond knowing that she was indigent,” said Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac, whose office represented Dove. “That means that Judge Simmons found that she was neither a danger to the community nor a risk of flight. It was simply Ms. Dove’s poverty that kept her in jail instead of being in the community. This is a clear demonstration of the perversity of a cash bail system.”
Though Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has had a policy against seeking cash bail since March 2020, prosecutors objected to the possibility that Dove could be released at the bond hearing, Butorac told FFXnow.
The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The office recommends defendants be released in 59% of non-violent felony cases, as of March, according to a bond data dashboard launched last fall.
According to the FCPD, foul play isn’t suspected in Dove’s death, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine an official cause.
Listed in court records as a Los Angeles, California, resident, Dove is the second person to die while in custody at the Adult Detention Center this summer, following 51-year-old Todd Matthew Gleason’s death on July 4. The jail had three in-custody deaths in 2022.
Before the police department announced its investigation, the sheriff’s office published a news release yesterday about a deputy and nurse’s successful efforts to save an inmate who had overdosed on opioids on July 29.
A man who was hospitalized while in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center has died, triggering a police investigation.
Todd Matthew Gleason, 51, died Tuesday morning (July 4) just hours after a magistrate approved his release, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. He was taken to a hospital from the jail on Monday after telling sheriff’s deputies that he had “pain to his stomach and leg,” police said.
Gleason sustained injuries after being hit by a car, an incident that occurred before his arrest, according to the Fairfax County Office of the Public Defender, which was representing him.
Gleason was arrested on June 17 for a petit larceny that allegedly occurred on June 15, according to Fairfax County General District Court records. Mount Vernon District patrol officers also served him a warrant for failure to appear on a felony offense, the FCPD said Wednesday.
“There was no force used during Gleason’s arrest,” the department said. “Following his arrest, Gleason requested to be taken to the hospital for a preexisting injury. Officers facilitated his request, and he was medically cleared by hospital staff the same day.”
However, Gleason was still experiencing medical issues from his injuries while in custody at the Adult Detention Center, the public defender’s office says.
“Mr. Gleason continued to have medical issues from those injuries during his incarceration,” Fairfax Public Defender Dawn Butorac said by email. “He advised his attorneys of such and it is my understanding that he also advised the jail staff as well. It appears that his complaints were not taken seriously until July 3rd.”
That morning, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office requested an ambulance to take Gleason back to the hospital, according to the police.
Police say a magistrate granted Gleason a release on recognizance at 9:22 pm on Monday, July 3, a date confirmed to FFXnow by a General District Court clerk.
“Any medical complaints are taken seriously and fully addressed by our medical team,” Casey Lingan, general counsel for the sheriff’s office, said.
Noting that the county jail “is nationally accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care,” Lingan said the office can’t provide any information about medical care given to individuals in the facility, citing confidentiality laws under HIPAA and the Code of Federal Regulations.
An autopsy to determine the manner and cause of Gleason’s death is being conducted by Northern Virginia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The final results could take 12 or more weeks, depending on the complexity of the case, according to the office.
Fairfax County court records show a string of previous charges against Gleason, dating back to Oct. 24, 2020. It’s unclear whether any of them resulted in convictions.
The charges are mostly misdemeanors, including multiple petit larcenies, trespassing, public intoxication and failures to appear in court. There are two felony drug possession charges, most recently for an April 8 offense, and one felony for wearing a mask.
Gleason had been scheduled for an adjudicatory hearing on Sept. 14.
The Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney said it had no comment on the case at this time, but called Gleason’s death “a tragedy.”
No other deaths have been reported at the county jail this year, but three people died while incarcerated last year.
That includes 65-year-old George Redmond and 55-year-old Kyung Pil Chang, who died within two days of each other in late March 2022. Glenn Meyer, who was charged in a Pimmit Hills shooting in 2020, died last July after a medical emergency, police said at the time.
Fairfax County’s upcoming budget won’t fully resolve funding disparities between public defenders and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Instead, county leaders said they’ll continue working with General Assembly representatives to fix funding disparities, where Fairfax County public defenders say they’re underfunded and underpaid.
“I want to acknowledge the request that we received from that office, and I do recognize the ongoing struggle to create parity between their office and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office,” Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said.
The Board of Supervisors agreed on Tuesday (April 26) to reduce Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office contribution of around $804,000 and funding to add six positions there, changing its local spending of its advertised budget for prosecutors.
Chief public defender Dawn Butorac was unimpressed by the commitment.
“It is incredibly disappointing that the Board continues to gloss over how important we are to the criminal legal system in Fairfax,” she told FFXnow by email. “Their budget decisions demonstrate that the poor and marginalized citizens in this community are not a priority.”
She said the board told her at the budget meeting that they’ve been trying to resolve the pay issues through the General Assembly.
“Many other jurisdictions in Virginia supplement public defender salaries and do so at a rate higher than the 15% supplement in Fairfax,” Butorac wrote. “Several, in fact, have pay parity or are working towards that goal.”
Butorac wanted around $825,000 for her office, up from its current allocation of $525,000. The office also receives $3.9 million in funding from the state.
Last year, the county extended 15% salary supplements for staff in the public defender’s office.
“We must find more sustainable pathways on working with the state to fund the public defender’s office,” Lusk said, noting he’s committed to working with the rest of the board, Butorac, and state legislators on the matter.
Lusk, who chairs the Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee, said he would participate if necessary in a hearing or meeting in Richmond on the issue.