BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The family of Quantez Burks, a man who died in custody after he was allegedly handcuffed and beaten by Southern Regional Jail corrections officers last year, said on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, that recent charges brought against two guards, Andrew Fleshman and Steven Nicholas Wimmer, encourages the family that a governmental agency is pursuing justice for Burks, who was 37 years old when he died while in police custody on March 1, 2022.

Burks’ mother, Kimberly Burks, and Latasha Williams, his fiancée, have pushed local, state and federal officials for answers for more than a year on how Burks died.

“It was just exactly what we’re looking for,” Kimberly Williams said of the charges brought against Fleshman and Wimmer. “But let’s not get that confused to think they’re the only perpetrators because they’re not.”

According to one of the criminal complaints, a group of officers conspired to handcuff Burks, who was waiting for his bond to be approved, and to move him from a C-pod to an interview room, where Fleshman allegedly struck him and other officers, who are not named, allegedly assaulted him.

Later, according to one of the complaints, the officers moved Burks, still handcuffed, to the jail “A-pod,” where Wimmer allegedly struck him and unidentified corrections officers allegedly assaulted him.

Kimberly Burks said she questions how supervisors were unaware of the alleged movement of jail workers.

Photos taken by a Beckley funeral home director show Burks had injuries throughout his body. Kimberly Burks said she believes it is also likely others saw the injuries to her son’s body after he had died.

“You also got people that moved his body from place to place,” she said. “You got when they took him to the hospital. You got when they called them, whoever transported him to Charleston.”

She said nobody from the jail notified the family of Burks’ death.

Williams alleged she learned of her fiancée’s death when she called Raleigh County Magistrate’s Office to make arrangements for Burks’ bond. She alleged a worker in a magistrate’s office casually informed her Burks had died but did not initially give an accurate time, based on Williams’ last conversation with Burks.

According to Kimberly Burks, the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Officer has never provided Burks’ family with his autopsy report.

State records obtained by 59News show the State Medical Examiner’s Office officially ruled Burks died of natural causes and that West Virginia Division of Corrections officials have been notified of the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s ruling.

Williams said the recent charges make her hopeful that Burks’ family will see charges brought against all state workers and others who allegedly participated in the beatings and conspiracy.

“We know it’s more. From the pictures of his back, it’s way more than two,” said Williams. “So, we know it’s more than two, and we got faith, they’re going to get caught, just like these other ones did, whether ya’ll turned yourself in, willingly. Something ate y’all up.”

Kimberly Burks alleges state employees, including jail guards, have not been transparent with her family regarding Burks’ death.

“For a year and four months, my family has been through pure hell, wanting to know what happened, knowing ya’ll know what happened, knowing that you done spoke this to your wife, or to your children, or to your family, but never came forward,” she charged, adding she also wants answers for other West Virginians who have lost incarcerated loved ones at Southern Regional Jail.

She said, with the exception of Republican Del. Todd Kirby of Raleigh County, no state or federal lawmaker has met face-to-face to speak about inmate deaths, including Burks’ death.

Kimberly Burks said she is encouraged the United States Department of Justice’s involvement will provide answers about her son’s final moments of life.

She alleged jail staff has still not returned Burks’ personal belongings to his family.