Inmate dies in Norfolk City Jail

Daizhaun Danico Johnson -- Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Norfolk Sheriffs Office
Daizhaun Danico Johnson — Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Norfolk Sheriffs Office

NORFOLK – Jail officials here are conducting an “internal review” surrounding the death of an inmate Monday.

The 18-year-old inmate was identified as Daizhaun Danico Johnson, who was booked into Norfolk City Jail without bond in September on charges of failure to appear and auto theft, according to the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.

Around 11:55 p.m. Monday, a jail deputy came upon Johnson “who appeared to standing in his cell.”

“Upon closer examination, the deputy noticed the inmate was non-responsive and his body was suspended just off the ground,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The deputy immediately called for help and jail personnel “began performing life saving measures until medical staff arrived and took over.”

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

The sheriff’s office said a mental health counselor was made available to inmates immediately following the incident.

Additionally, a sheriff’s office chaplain is available for any staff members who responded.

The sheriff’s office will conduct an internal review, and the Norfolk Police Department “will handle the incident as an undetermined death investigation,” officials said.

The sheriff’s office said no foul play is suspected, “but the official cause and manner of death will be determined by the medical examiner. “

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.