Investigation of inmate’s 2014 death still ongoing

GEORGETOWN — The investigation continues regarding the early 2014 death of an inmate who “sustained lethal trauma while being restrained multiple times by a prison response team,” according to a death certificate.

The Delaware Department of Justice said on Wednesday the probe into Ronald W. Shoup’s death on Feb. 27, 2014, is ongoing. Delaware State Police, which originally investigated the incident along with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, referred media questions to the DOJ.

Representing the Shoup family, attorney Steve Hampton said on Wednesday, “As far as we can tell it’s a mystery as to what is going on.

Ronald W. Shoup

Ronald W. Shoup

“We don’t know what’s occurring one way or another. We don’t know why they haven’t determined whether they will or won’t bring charges.”

The Delaware Department of Correction said an internal investigation was launched immediately after the original investigation, and it remains pending as the DOJ reviews findings of the state police investigation.

DOC spokesman Jason Miller said no staff members have been placed on administrative leave regarding the matter.

“In circumstances where there is a clear or intentional use of deadly force, the staff member(s) are immediately placed on administrative leave pending the Department of Correction’s use of force review and any related investigations by other law enforcement agencies,” he said. “The decision to implement administrative leave in a case of this nature is determined after an internal review of the incident to determine if it is appropriate and is necessary to maintain security and safety.”

No further investigation information was available.

“We cannot comment about this time about any other details of the investigations,” Mr. Miller said.

According to the Department of Correction at the time of the incident, Mr. Shoup was being held in lieu of bail at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown after charges of failure to have insurance identification in possession (two counts), driving while suspended or revoked (two counts), noncompliance with conditions of recognizance bond of conditions – felony, failure to have registration plate light, fifth offense DUI of alcohol, and breach of release.

Mr. Shoup, 48, of the first block of Maplewood Drive in Lewes, entered SCI on Feb. 20, 2014, the DOC said.

According to the DOC, Mr. Shoup died at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes at 9:25 a.m. His body was then turned over to the state Medical Examiner’s Office, as is standard procedure. The death certificate indicated he died in a hospital emergency room.

The death certificate showed that Mr. Shoup was found in an isolated cell in the SCI infirmary at 5:07 a.m.

An autopsy was performed, with the cause of death determined to be multiple blunt force injuries and the manner homicide, according to the death certificate certified on March 12, 2014.

Cremation was listed as the “method of disposition” according to the death certificate.

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