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Agency News

Inmate at Red Onion State Prison Charged with Aggravated Murder in Inmate’s Death

May 21, 2024

An inmate at Red Onion State Prison has been charged in the 2023 death of another inmate at the facility.

Julian Leon Mitchell, 36, was charged with one count of aggravated murder by a grand jury in Wise County Circuit Court. The indictment was filed on Wednesday, May 15.

Aggravated murder is a Class 1 felony in Virginia and carries a punishment of life in prison.

Mitchell is accused of killing Jowell Legendre, who shared Mitchell’s cell at Red Onion State Prison, on August 24, 2023. Legendre was found unresponsive by VADOC corrections team members, who performed lifesaving efforts. He was later transported to Dickenson Community Hospital and was pronounced deceased. Mitchell reported to security staff that Legendre fell from the top of his bunk bed.

The Virginia Department of Corrections’ Office of Law Enforcement Services (formerly the Special Investigations Unit) investigated Legendre’s death and provided information to the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. 

“The safety and security of our corrections team, inmates, and supervisees is this department’s top priority,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “The Virginia Department of Corrections will pursue prosecution to the fullest extent of the law for anyone who threatens that safety and security. I thank Commonwealth’s Attorney Brett Hall for bringing this case before a grand jury, and for always being a steadfast supporter of our Department. I also thank our corrections team members for their work on this investigation.”

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