Inmate dies at jail

Published 11:34 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

An inmate at Western Tidewater Regional Jail died there early Friday morning, according to a press release from the jail.

Michael Hoffler, 37, had been at the jail since Monday, according to a press release from jail Superintendent William C. Smith.

The release stated that a jail officer conducting security rounds requested medical staff at 6:32 a.m., as Hoffler “appeared to be in medical distress.” Medical staff began treating the inmate and called the Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue, which responded to the scene.

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“After several minutes on the scene, Suffolk EMS stated the inmate had died,” Smith wrote in the release.

The jail notified the Suffolk Police Department of the death and is conducting an administrative review.

Hoffler was charged with a probation revocation and was set to have a bond hearing in Suffolk Circuit Court on Friday, according to online court records.

In September 2017, he was sentenced to two years, suspended in its entirety, for possession of heroin. He was arrested on that charge in December 2016 and had pleaded guilty in June 2017, according to online court records.

Smith said the death did not appear to be a suicide; however, he declined to answer further questions, including Hoffler’s housing situation and whether Hoffler had requested any medical attention since his arrival at the jail.

The public defender’s office had been appointed to represent Hoffler on his revocation charge. On Friday evening, chief public defender James Grandfield said the appointment happened only earlier this week and that he didn’t know a lot about the case.

He did, however, express his condolences to Hoffler’s family.

“We’re sorry for the family’s loss,” he said.