No charges in probe of inmate’s suicide

A Washington County grand jury has found there was no criminal negligence or criminal recklessness leading up to the Sept. 20 suicide of an inmate at the Washington County Jail.

William Michael Barrows, 34, committed suicide by hanging the day after being booked into the jail on a charge of domestic violence against his girlfriend, 32-year-old Kristica Skelley, of New Matamoras.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, was called in to investigate the event.

Three weeks ago, BCI completed its investigation and submitted a report to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider on Wednesday.

Details were provided to a Washington County grand jury that convened this week.

“Grand jury concluded there was no criminal negligence or criminal recklessness by anyone at the jail,” said Schneider.

The case was not presented in an attempt to bring charges against any specific employees, said Schneider. Rather the incident and the BCI report were presented to allow a grand jury to make a general determination if there was any criminal wrongdoing leading up to the death, he said.

“Because a death was involved, we wanted to present it,” he said.

Because the grand jury found no negligence, no criminal charges will be pursued, Schneider said.

Schneider declined to provide a copy of the BCI report.

The Marietta Times made a public information request for the report to the Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday.

Jill Del Greco, public information officer for the Attorney General’s Office, said it would likely take two to four weeks to complete a public records request for the report.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Wednesday he had not yet seen the report and referred questions to Schneider.

County Jail Administrator Brad Thorpe could not be reached for comment.