Woman in Fairfax County jail on cash bond dies after medical emergency

The Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Another person in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center has died.

Latasha Dove, a 53-year-old woman, was found unresponsive in her cell at the jail on Tuesday (Aug. 1) afternoon, the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday (Wednesday).

According to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, the post deputy called in a medical emergency at 2:27 p.m. Scanner traffic on Open MHz indicates that an Emergency Medical Services team from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched for a cardiac arrest around 2:31 p.m.

“The deputy immediately rendered aid until relieved by ADC medical personnel. Rescue arrived and transported the inmate to the hospital,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Dove was declared dead at the hospital at 3:13 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

Dove’s death is now being investigated by the FCPD, as required by county policy.

According to the police and court records, Dove was arrested on July 26 and faced charges of simple assault and property destruction. The assault charge was a misdemeanor, while the destruction of property charge was a class 6 felony, meaning the value of the destroyed property was over $1,000.

Dove remained in custody at the jail after Fairfax County General District Court Judge Mark Simmons set a cash bond for her at a bond hearing on Monday (July 31).

“The judge decided that she was an appropriate candidate for bail yet set a cash bond knowing that she was indigent,” said Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac, whose office represented Dove. “That means that Judge Simmons found that she was neither a danger to the community nor a risk of flight. It was simply Ms. Dove’s poverty that kept her in jail instead of being in the community. This is a clear demonstration of the peversity of a cash bail system.”

Though Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has had a policy against seeking cash bail since March 2020, prosecutors objected to the possibility that Dove could be released at the bond hearing, Butorac told FFXnow.

The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The office recommends defendants be released in 59% of non-violent felony cases, as of March, according to a bond data dashboard launched last fall.

According to the FCPD, foul play isn’t suspected in Dove’s death, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine an official cause.

Listed in court records as a Los Angeles, California, resident, Dove is the second person to die while in custody at the Adult Detention Center this summer, following 51-year-old Todd Matthew Gleason’s death on July 4. The jail had three in-custody deaths in 2022.

Before the police department announced its investigation, the sheriff’s office published a news release yesterday about a deputy and nurse’s successful efforts to save an inmate who had overdosed on opioids on July 29.

Read more on FFXnow…

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