Guilford Judge Found After Accidental Overdose

Myra Bari
Staff Writer 

PC: Wikimedia Commons

The death of prominent community figurehead Chief District Court Judge Tom Jarrell shook the Greensboro community in August, and further findings concerning the case have recently come to light.

Police had initially found a substance that was believed to be cocaine in Jarrell’s home. In a report released on Oct. 28 by the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the substance found on both a piece of paper in a bathroom and a pocketknife contained heroin. Other prescription drugs were also found in the room,for medical issues with an irregular heartbeat.

This coincides with the report’s record of Jarrel’s heart being mildly enlarged.

Before his death, Jarrell was last seen by High Point police officers around 7:30 p.m, no doubt a court-related issue. Jarrell’s wife, Cindy Jarrell, was out of town and called Jarrell at 11:30 p.m and Jarrell did not pick up. The next evening, his wife had called a neighbor to check on Jarell, and the neighbor found Jarell dead in his upstairs bedroom.

In the report released, the medical examiner stated that he had found Jarrell lying on his right side in a semi-fetal position with a pair of scissors in his right hand. On the bed, there were a number of articles of clothing with the tags removed. 

The report also disclosed that there was no sign of foul play, and the illegal drugs had been self-induced, with a needle puncture in Jarrell’s arm. The death was ruled accidental. In a News & Record interview with High Point police, it was reported that before his death, Jarell had no prior record of substance abuse. 

Previous to Jarell’s body being sent to a local morgue, police searched his body. They then removed a watch and wedding ring and found a plastic bag containing a powdery substance in one of Jarrell’s pockets. The substance tested positive for heroin. 



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