Shelby County Sheriff’s Office investigates death of inmate

Published 9:10 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of an inmate from the Shelby County Jail who died after receiving medical care due to a medical emergency.

On June 6, 2023, Joshua Dewayne Files of Bessemer was booked into the Shelby County Jail on an outstanding warrant for a Probation Violation related to a previous theft of property first degree charge.

Like all inmates at the Shelby County Jail, Files received his medical and mental health assessment during the booking process and based on his assessment, he was housed in a general population housing unit.

On June 12, Files displayed erratic behavior and was moved without incident to a special housing cell where jail watch protocols were initiated.

On June 15, at approximately 10:50 a.m., during a safety check by jail deputies, Files was found to be suffering a medical emergency. Shelby County jail deputies and the jail medical staff immediately began emergency life-saving efforts.

Southeast Shelby Rescue responded to assist, and Files was transported to the hospital where he remained under the care of the hospital staff until he was pronounced deceased at approximately 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

Sheriff John Samaniego has requested the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a review of this incident. As a standard part of the review process, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will conduct an autopsy in an effort to determine the cause of death.

“We express our sincere condolences to Mr. Files’ family during this difficult time,” Sheriff John Samaniego said.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.