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Autopsy: Man who died in Eastern Regional Jail had multiple drugs in his body

Robert Ashley Seeley of Inwood died July 31 from a drug overdose

November 08, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — An autopsy of a man who died July 31 while being held at Eastern Regional Jail revealed that he had multiple drugs in his body at the time of his death, police said Thursday.

Robert Ashley Seeley, 28, of Inwood, W.Va., died from a drug overdose, West Virginia State Police Trooper R.D. Eshbaugh said Thursday. 

The autopsy conducted by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner indicated Seeley had morphine, codeine, alprazolam (Xanax), and dextromethorphan in his body, according to Eshbaugh.

Seeley was pronounced dead at City Hospital in Martinsburg shortly after he was found with a faint heartbeat, according to police and Paul O’Dell, deputy director of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.

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Seeley was found at about 8:45 a.m. July 31, less than 12 hours after his arrest, but medical personnel were unable to revive him, O’Dell said in an interview in August.

Seeley was being held in a temporary holding cell, according to O’Dell.

He was placed in the jail at 12:35 a.m., a little more than two hours after he was arrested in Jefferson County, W.Va., on a drug charge by Sheriff’s Deputy William Carper, according to police and O’Dell.

Seeley was about to be arraigned on one felony count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana) when he was found at the jail, according to police and O’Dell.

At the time he was arrested, Seeley was found with a “large amount” of marijuana and cash in the white Chevrolet truck he was driving on W.Va. 51, according to Sgt. Ronald Fletcher of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Carper had responded to W.Va. 51 to investigate a report of a pickup traveling recklessly at about 10:30 p.m., Fletcher said in an interview in August.

Once stopped, Seeley told Carper that he was tired and hadn’t slept, Fletcher said.

Seeley consented to a search of the truck after the deputy detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, Fletcher said.

O’Dell said jail officials are reviewing how Seeley’s incarceration was handled “to make sure everything we did was by policy.”

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