Sheriff: Richmond inmate died from complications of gunshot wound 8 years prior

Richmond City Justice Center

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Office of the Medical Examiner’s final report for a Richmond City Justice Center inmate who died in July has been released.

Sheriff C.T. Woody, Jr. released the results of the autopsy and toxicology report Thursday in the case of former Richmond inmate Zachary Tuggle.

Tuggle was one of the three inmates who passed away at the jail during a single week in July of this year.

The Medical Examiner has determined Tuggle’s manner of death to be homicide. His cause of death was determined to be a seizure disorder due to complications of a gunshot wound to the head eight years prior.

Tuggle, 29, was involved in a medical emergency in his cell on the sixth floor of the city jail. The jail’s medical department responded immediately for treatment. EMS crews arrived on scene at 12:36 p.m. Tuggle was pronounced deceased at 1:11 p.m.

Investigators from the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office and the Richmond Police Department began a joint investigation into his death, which is standard procedure whenever there is a death inside the facility, authorities said.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Tuggle had routinely refused prescribed medication which helped prevent seizures. This seizure disorder stemmed from a brain injury from a gunshot wound eight years prior,” a release from the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office reads.

According to the Medical Examiner’s report, “Post-traumatic seizures are one of the most common complications of head injuries.”  Toxicology reports are positive for the presence the seizure medication “within a therapeutic range” however that “does not eliminate the risk of having a seizure.”

“Jail residents have the right to refuse their medications. Furthermore, due to Federal regulations, neither medical staff nor our deputies may discuss a person’s medical treatment with anyone else, unless the person receiving treatment signs a release,” said Sheriff Woody. He continued, “It is our duty to follow all investigations wherever they lead, leaving no stone unturned, and avoiding speculation. When it comes to the death of a loved one, the family deserves to know what actually happened, and our best guess will never be good enough.”

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.

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