Cops, Courts & Prisons


Originally published in the Winter 2022 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 67, printed February 3. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Winter 2022 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

By Phil Wilayto

A prisoner at Red Onion State Prison in Wise County has died after being found unresponsive in his cell, according to a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Corrections. Anwar Phillips was found in the early morning of Jan. 3, according to DOC representative Benjamin Jarvela.

According to a story published Jan. 14 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he medical examiner had not yet determined a cause of death. Jarvela said DOC investigators had contacted the commonwealth’s attorney’s office about the death.

The Times-Dispatch story was picked up by the Associated Press and carried by The Washington Post.

Mother of Anwar Phillips appeals for funds to bury her son

Vernetta Phillips, the mother of the man who recently died at Red Onion State Prison, has started a GoFundMe appeal to “help me bury and get justice for my son Anwar.”

Click here for Vernetta Phillips’ GoFundMe. .

Categories: Cops, Courts & Prisons

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