Accused Franklin County murderer dies while in custody

Medical examiner says John Eames died of natural causes

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A man awaiting trial for first-degree murder and other charges in Franklin County died in jail on Friday morning, according to Western Virginia Regional Jail Superintendent Col. Bobby Russell.

John Robert Eames, 55, died of natural causes, according to the jail.

Eames was charged with murdering 80-year-old Dillard Nolen on November 22, 2017. In addition to that charge,  Eames faced four counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of robbery, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of grand theft auto, a count of theft of firearms, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, brandishing, malicious discharge of a weapon, hit and run and reckless driving.

On Friday morning, Eames reportedly began experiencing medical complications while being treated by the jail medical staff.

Eames suffered from a number of chronic medical conditions and was already under treatment, according to Russell.

During this evaluation and treatment, Eames lost consciousness and medical personnel called 911, Russell said.

From the jail, Eames was taken by Roanoke County Fire-EMS personnel to Carillion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

He was admitted to ICU and required additional life support measures.

While in the ICU, Russell said, Eames' condition began to deteriorate, and he later died.

Roanoke's medical examiner performed an autopsy and rendered a preliminary finding that Eames died of natural causes.

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