CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) announced that a grand jury has returned an indictment charging Christopher Neal, 31, for causing the overdose death of a 28-year-old cellmate as well as other crimes he committed while incarcerated at the Cuyahoga County Jail (CCJ).

“This case was solved due to the diligent work of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

“This indictment is the result of excellent police work from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department. It was a coordinated and thorough investigation led by the Detective Bureau, with the exceptional investigatory work of our Narcotics Bureau, that contributed to the indictment returned by the Grand Jury.”

Cuyahoga County Interim Sheriff Joseph Greiner

On August 30, 2020, the victim was found unresponsive in a cell by a corrections officer. The officer immediately alerted other officers and the jail’s medical personnel who performed emergency services to help the victim. The victim was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter by Cleveland EMS and transported to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office (CCMEO). The CCMEO conducted an autopsy that revealed the victim overdosed on Fentanyl.

On August 21, 2020, Neal was arrested on an outstanding warrant out of Euclid and was booked into the CCJ where he smuggled drugs inside. On August 30, 2020, Neal provided the drugs to his cellmate which caused the victim’s death. He later caused the remainder of the drugs to be discarded. A months-long investigation led by the CCSO Detective’s Bureau connected Neal to the crimes.

He has been indicted on the following felony charges:

  • One count of Involuntary Manslaughter
  • One count of Corrupting Another With Drugs
  • One count of Illegal Conveyance Into Detention Facility
  • One count of Tampering With Evidence
  • One count of Trafficking
  • One count of Drug Possession

Neal is currently being held at the CCJ on charges for another pending drug case. On September 18, 2020, Neal was involved in a crash with a United States mail truck near Reynolds Road and Butternut Lane in Mentor. Officers with the CCSO arrested Neal after they recovered drugs, paraphernalia, and cash at the scene. He currently faces three counts of Trafficking, three counts of Drug Possession, and one count of Possessing Criminal Tools in that case.

Neal will be arraigned on these new charges at a later date when a new bond will be set.