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WV Corrections mourns another COVID-19 officer death


Feb. 7​​, 2022

W.Va. Corrections mourns another COVID-19 officer death


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A 31-year-old Western Regional Jail correctional officer has died from COVID-19, the fourth such death among Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff since the pandemic began.


Cpl. Christopher Scarberry, of Genoa, had served at the Western Regional Jail in Cabell County since 2018. He had been hospitalized with the virus since December and died Sunday. His survivors include his wife and three stepchildren.


“It is with heavy hearts and much sadness that we once again must face the loss of a member of the DCR family," Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen said in a message to DCR staff, asking that all keep Cpl. Scarberry and his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones “in your prayers as we all mourn this devastating loss and honor his service. Special prayers also to Cpl. Scarberry's friends and co-workers at WRJ during this most difficult time."


Scarberry's death follows that of Correctional Officer II Paula Jo Tomlin, 51, who had served at the Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County since March 2020, of COVID-19 on Jan. 22. Two DCR correctional officers succumbed to the virus last year: Cpl. Mark Rustemeyer, 58, on Jan. 2, 2021; and Lt. Delmar Dean, 49, on Feb. 13, 2021. Each had served with DCR for more than 20 years, with Rustemeyer at the Saint Marys Correctional Center in Pleasants County and Dean at the Northern Regional Jail in Marshall County at the time of their deaths.


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Lawrence Messina (304) 957-2515 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov