The Dec. 29 death of a 54-year-old homeless man nine days after his arrest and booking into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center has been attributed to a natural cause, according to a Cobb medical examiner report.
Reginald Wilson’s cause of death was ruled as “dehydration due to bipolar disorder” in the Cobb medical examiner’s report. Wilson was noted to have a “medical history of bipolar disorder with psychotic features, drug abuse and hypertension,” with hypertension and coronary artery disease listed as other significant conditions related to his cause of death.
Despite being provided an adequate amount of both food and water/drinks on a daily basis, according to the report, Wilson “did not consume an appropriate amount of liquids” but only a small amount each day.
Impaired thirst, according to the report released Tuesday, “has been reported in mental illnesses with psychotic features.”
On Dec. 20 Wilson was arrested after a Cobb County police officer said he was found standing in the roadway in front of WellStar Cobb Hospital dressed in hospital scrubs with socks but no shoes. The officer reported finding an arrest warrant for a probation violation and took him to jail.
“Prior to his arrest, (Wilson) had been treated at WellStar Cobb Hospital for depression and a seizure,” the report said. “While admitted he was noted to have acute kidney injury which improved significantly with hydration.”
During the nine days he had been in custody, deputies used a stun gun on him twice, according to the report. The first time was on Dec. 21 after he ran out of his cell into a medical area “and became involved in a physical altercation with deputies,” the autopsy report said. A second instance was on Christmas Day after he attempted to push past deputies to exit the cell, the report said.
While in custody, Wilson also smeared his waste over his cell, so he was moved in order to be cleaned and was moved to a padded cell alone on Dec. 22, according to an investigator’s report from the medical examiner’s office. In the days that followed the second use of the stun gun against him, Wilson began showing less and less activity but became active again at about 5 p.m. Dec. 28, with the report stating he had stood up and sat down and “began spinning around on his buttocks” before smearing his own waste, which led jail staff to plan to have him moved to the showers and his cell cleaned the next day.
A guard performing rounds just minutes after noon Dec. 29 was the last to see Wilson moving. At that time, Wilson was unclothed, lying on the floor in his own waste “and would move around some, but would not look up when the glass was tapped.”
When the guard performed his rounds just under 15 minutes later, Wilson did not appear to be breathing, leading jail staff to begin administering CPR. Emergency efforts were unsuccessful at the jail and while en route to WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Wilson was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital.
A toxicological analysis of Wilson’s blood revealed metabolites of marijuana and some amount of olanzapine, an antipsychotic medication used to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the autopsy report said. The investigator’s report said Wilson had been taking the drug twice a day during his time in custody. It was unknown if he had taken his evening dose the day before his death. He did not take his morning dose the day he died, according to the report.
Wilson’s death had been the third to occur among inmates of the Cobb County Adult Detention Center in as many months.
The late February death of 31-year-old Jessie Daunte Myles of Douglasville was ruled an accident in a Cobb medical examiner report released last month. His cause of death was determined to be “complications of acute cocaine intoxication” after consuming “illicit drugs while under arrest.”
Myles had been arrested in the early morning hours of Feb. 23 after Marietta Police officers stopped a white Dodge Ram for failure to maintain lane on Interstate 75 south near Delk Road. He was booked in the Cobb jail, but later while in custody had an “as-yet unexplained medical event” and was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where he was admitted and later died, the MDJ previously reported.
Bradley Emory, a 33-year-old man from Marietta, was arrested Dec. 14 on drug charges. After about three months in Cobb County’s jail, he was declared brain dead.
Medical examination reports on Emory remain pending.