Cobb inmate who asked for medical attention died in isolation cell

Autopsies for two inmates who died in the Cobb County jail found “natural causes” as the reason for death in both cases.
Autopsies for two inmates who died in the Cobb County jail found “natural causes” as the reason for death in both cases.

Cobb County jail inmate Kevil Wingo made multiple requests for medical attention before he was placed in the isolation cell where he died Sept. 29.

That’s according to the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s report, which labeled the 36-year-old Atlanta man’s cause of death to be complications of a perforated gastric ulcer.

Wingo, who was booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center six days before his death on a cocaine possession charge, did not have any alcohol or “commonly abused illicit drugs and medications” in his system, the Medical Examiner’s report reads.

The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, which said it received the Medical Examiner’s report Tuesday afternoon, said it can’t comment on the case due to it still being an “open and active investigation,” spokesman Glenn Daniel said.

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Attorney Timothy Gardner, who is representing Wingo’s family, said the report “confirms what we suspected all along and this was a preventable death.”

Gardner said Wingo would still be alive if the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, which runs and operates the jail under Sheriff Neil Warren, had taken Wingo to the hospital.

“They refused to send him to the hospital for whatever reason,” he said.

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Wingo was undergoing a detox in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center’s infirmary when he asked for help. After stumbling and falling on other inmates in the infirmary, he was put in a padded isolation cell where he later was found unresponsive by Cobb sheriff’s deputies. Attempts to revive him failed, and he was pronounced dead Sept. 29 at an area hospital.

Wingo is one of seven Cobb inmates who have died in custody since December 2018. The deaths, along with a month-long lockdown, have sparked criticism from residents and families, local activists and civil rights organizations, which are calling on Sheriff Neil Warren to address their concerns about medical care for inmates and jail staffing levels.

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Wingo’s report notes he had anti-epileptic, muscle relaxant, anti-anxiety and allergy medications in his system, which were prescribed to him. Those drugs, however, were not within ranges that would be classified as fatal. The report does not show Wingo had medications used to treat gastric ulcers in his system.

Kevil Wingo
Kevil Wingo

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Gardner said the sheriff's office has not produced any documentation of its investigation into the deaths of Wingo or Steven Davis, whose cause of death was classified as undetermined. Gardner, who is also representing Davis's family, said he will submit another request for information from the state's Open Records Act so he can view surveillance footage from the jail in the moments before both men were found unresponsive.

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