Wyoming County inmate dies after 19 days in Southern Regional Jail

Wyoming County inmate dies after 19 days in Southern Regional Jail
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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BEAVER, W.Va. (WVVA) - A Wyoming County inmate is dead after a 19-day stay at Southern Regional Jail (SRJ).

Alvis Shrewsbury turned himself into the jail on August 29, on a second offense Driving Under the Influence charge.

During his 19-day stay at the jail, his family said Monday they were in daily communication with him by video.

“I told my babies he would be fine. I told my babies he would be better,” said his daughter Miranda Smith, acknowledging that her father had a heroin problem before entering the jail.

As daily calls continued, his family noticed he kept his head down. “After we were talking to him on the 10th (of September), he’d already been beaten. His face was black,” recalled Smith.

He had a more chilling message for his mother. “He said, mom, if I don’t come home, I love you. I want you to know I love you,” said his mother, Anna Shrewsbury.

Smith said Shrewsbury continued to report problems as the calls continued. “He was telling us about his ribs being broken. It was hard to breathe. He hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week and nothing was being done about it. He was calling the nurse’s station for help.”

Early Saturday morning, his mother got a visit from a Wyoming County Sheriff’s deputy informing her that her son had passed away after being transferred to Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital (BARH).

“There’s a million people out there that I don’t know. But they belong to someone. My dad was someone,” said Smith.

Later that weekend, Shrewsbury’s mother got a letter in the mail from her son that read, in part, “Can’t wait until I get out. I love you all and I miss you all.”

While the family said they have not heard directly from the state just yet, they said they were able to confirm through the State Medical Examiner’s Office that Shrewsbury’s body is in their custody. The family plans an independent autopsy as well.

WVVA News reached out to the West Virginia Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation for a response. We will share that as soon as we receive it.