The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that the individual who died in custody at the Berkshire County House of Correction took his own life.

State Police are investigating the death of Stavri Yanka, 34, of Adams, on Sunday, November 7, 2021.

Members of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office discovered Yanka unresponsive in his cell at approximately 4:30 p.m. Correctional staff called 911 and attempted lifesaving measures. County Ambulance transported Yanka to Berkshire Medical Center, where a doctor pronounced him deceased.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner took custody of Yanka’s body and performed an autopsy on Monday and determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation and the manner of death as suicide.

I send my condolences to Mr. Yanka’s family, friends during this very difficult time. I thank House of Correction staff for their response and attempts to save Mr. Yanka’s life and the State Police Detective Unit for their investigation into the matter

District Attorney Andrea Harrington


The Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office booked Yanka into the facility on Thursday, November 4, 2021 after Adams Police arrested him on felony breaking and entering in the nighttime charges.

Yanka was awaiting trial on an assault and battery on a family member charge when Adams Police arrested him and the court-ordered Yanka to be detained for violating his conditions of release on the pending matter at his arraignment on Friday.

Members of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office reported that staff performed mental health and medical screenings on Yanka when he entered the facility and did not exhibit an elevated risk of harming himself.

The investigation remains open. The Berkshire State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the Berkshire District Attorney are still reviewing video surveillance, incident reports, other evidence, and conducting formal interviews with those involved.

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