Aug 23, 2023
Stepdaughter says Hico man who died in Southern Regional Jail custody was severely injured
by: Jessica Farrish Posted: Aug 29, 2023 / 06:57 PM EDT Updated: Aug 29, 2023 / 06:57 PM EDT RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — The death of Scotty Cafego, 45, of Hico, on Monday morning, August 28, 2023,
by: Jessica Farrish
Posted: Aug 29, 2023 / 06:57 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 29, 2023 / 06:57 PM EDT
RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — The death of Scotty Cafego, 45, of Hico, on Monday morning, August 28, 2023, raises questions about mental health care available to those incarcerated at Southern Regional Jail.
Cafego’s stepdaughter, Alexis Wood, said on Monday that her stepfather suffered occasional bouts of paranoia, in which he believed people were trying to harm him.
According to a criminal complaint filed August 25, 2023, in Fayette County Magistrate Court, Cafego was taken to Southern Regional Jail for allegedly placing a 911 call on Friday evening, August 25, 2023, and then seriously attacking the responding officers, sending one of them to the hospital.
The criminal complaint stated Cafego was armed when one officer arrived, choked the officer and attempted to take a firearm from him. The officer then called for other deputies to respond, and Cafego allegedly attacked them, too.
Wood said on Sunday, August 27, 2023, a SRJ corrections officer allegedly called and asked Woods’ mother to come to Beckley ARH Hospital to sign paperwork.
Wood said the family assumed jail staff had transferred Cafego to the hospital’s psychiatric ward, since, as far as they knew, he was in good physical health.
“He never insinuated that anything was wrong, that there was any health issue,” she said of the SRJ officer who reportedly contacted the family.
Wood said when family arrived at the hospital, they found Cafego unconscious, his ankle handcuffed to the bed and an armed corrections officer standing guard.
She said her stepdad was intubated, bleeding internally, and that his kidneys and heart were failing.
Wood said her mother, who is a nurse, had Cafego transferred to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he died Monday morning, still in custody of a jail guard.
Wood said imprints of handcuffs were visible on Cafego’s wrists, that his eyes were covered by wet gauze and that pepper spray on his body had harmed the eyes of a family member who touched him in the hospital.
Wood said the family wants answers on why Cafego wasn’t transferred for mental health care. She said a Southern Regional Jail officer spoke with her mother.
“The words that Corporal Hudson had told her is that he (Cafego) would not go back into his cell, after lunch, and that the guards ‘tassled’ him, to get back into his cell, which then led to him needing medical attention and being at S-R-J for 40 minutes, getting C-P-R, before he was transferred to B-ARH,” said Wood.
The family said they will continue searching for answers until they know the truth.
A spokesperson for West Virginia Department of Homeland Security confirmed the death but contradicted the time provided by Wood, stating Cafego was “found unresponsive in his cell Monday morning at the Southern Regional Jail Correctional facility” and that “staff performed life-saving procedures to revive him, and the inmate was transferred to Charleston Area Medical Center for additional care” before passing away.
West Virginia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the West Virginia State Police are both investigating the incident, according to the statement.
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