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Inmate killed in Southwest Virginia Regional Jail fight

April 26th, 2012 4:28 pm by Wes Bunch

DUFFIELD — Authorities are investigating an inmate’s death that occurred Thursday at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield as a homicide.

The victim was identified Thursday night as Jeffery Allen Kilgore, 42, an inmate from Wise County awaiting a civil commitment for prior sex offenses.

Authorities said Kilgore died following an altercation in a cell block at the jail with Shannon Isiah Bellamy, 21, Gate City.

Department of Corrections officials said the alleged homicide is under investigation by the Virginia State Police’s Bureau of Investigation and Scott County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office was also notified.

Charges against Bellamy — who is serving a three-year sentence after being convicted in November 2011 of carnal knowledge of a minor — are currently pending, according to the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

“Mr. Bellamy is currently incarcerated and is not going anywhere,” said Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung. “Charges are pending while we determine the proper ones to bring.”

Maj. George Hembree with the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail said the fight occurred about 12:30 p.m. as inmates were finishing their lunch hour.

Kilgore still had a pulse after being found and was pronounced dead after being transported to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport.

McClung said the fight occurred during a free period of the inmates’ lunchtime and only lasted a little over a minute at most. No weapons appeared to be used in the altercation.

“We’re still trying to figure out why they got into it,” McClung said.

Authorities said Bellamy did hold a size advantage over Kilgore, who was reportedly seen on surveillance footage not fighting back.

Bellamy is listed on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and 220 pounds, while Kilgore was listed at 6 feet tall and 175 pounds.

Hembree said the inmates lived in the same housing unit but were not cell mates.

Kilgore’s civil commitment stemmed from a 1995 conviction on two counts of forcible sodomy with a minor.

The jail — which currently houses 525 inmates — was placed on lockdown shortly after the fight took place. The lockdown status was lifted about 5 p.m., Hembree said.

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