James Richards, left, and Peter Stokes

Shelby County Jail inmate dies after suffering critical injuries in fight 

A Shelby County Jail inmate who was critically injured following a fight at the jail Friday died in a Dayton hospital, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. 

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James Richards, 54, shown above at left, died at Miami Valley Hospital Saturday afternoon, a day after the incident. 

The cause of his death has not been ruled, according to the coroner’s office. 

Previously, investigators said charges against the other inmate in the fight, identified by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office as Peter Stokes, were pending. 

Deputies are expected to meet with the Shelby County prosecutor Tuesday to approve charges against Stokes, Sheriff John Lenhart said Monday afternoon. 


A Shelby County Jail inmate was hospitalized after a fight broke out at the jail Friday morning.

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James Richards is in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

The fight broke out around 9:30 a.m. after Richards said something to another inmate, Peter Stokes.

It is not clear what was said or whether it contributed to the fight.

Stokes reportedly went over to Richards and started punching him.

Stokes was taken into custody and medical care was given to Richards.

Sidney Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and transported Richards to Wilson Health before he was transported to Miami Valley, according to the sheriff’s office.

Richards was being held in the jail on a felony domestic violence charge. Stokes, described as a habitual sex offender, was being held on failure to provide a change of address, according to the jail website.

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Charges are pending against Stokes, according to the sheriff’s office.

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