• Report: Virginia woman fatally shot herself with hands cuffed behind her back

    By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


    The Medical Examiner’s Office of Virginia ruled that a 19-year-old woman died from shooting herself in the mouth while her hands were cuffed behind her back.

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    The ruling agrees with what Chesapeake police say happened July 25, 2018, when Sarah Wilson died while in their custody during a traffic stop, KUTV-TV reported. The medical examiner concluded Wilson died via "intra-oral gunshot wound" and ruled the death a suicide.

    The afternoon of July 25, Wilson was the passenger in a 1996 Lexus driven by her boyfriend, 27-year-old Holden Medlin. The couple had been under the surveillance of of two officers -- one assigned to uniform patrol, and the other to narcotics -- when they were stopped, WAVY-TV reported in August.

    One officer handcuffed Wilson while the other tried to gain control of Medlin, whom Chesapeake Officer Leo Kosinski told WAVY-TV was combative.

    Wilson was left outside the car’s passenger side while both officers tried to arrest Medlin, police said. Then, while her arms were handcuffed behind her back, Wilson retrieved a gun from the Lexus, “contorted” her body and shot herself in the head, Kosinski said.

    The officers reportedly tried to save Wilson's life after the gunshot, but she died at the scene.

    Police weren’t able to explain how Wilson obtained the gun and said it was not a police weapon, KUTV-TV reported.

    “In all of her life I have never known of her to shoot a gun, own a gun or even hold a gun,” Wilson’s mother, Dawn Wilson, told WVEC-TV in July. "Things are not matching up, somewhere somehow, there is a discrepancy.”

    One officer was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident, but it was knocked from his body during the struggle and didn’t capture Wilson’s death, WAVY-TV reported.

    Medlin swallowed a bag with possible drugs in it at the time of the arrest and is currently facing drug charges, KUTV-TV reported.

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