April 5, 2013

GBI probes Murray inmate death

Rachel Brown

— The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of a Murray County jail inmate who died Wednesday after complaining of stomach issues.

David Leonard Owens, 64, of Crandall, was charged March 28 by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office with trafficking in meth. Sheriff’s office Capt. John Cherry said Owens complained of “stomach issues earlier in the day” and had seen a nurse a couple of times to address them.

Cherry said jail officials were arranging for him to be taken to a hospital but while they were taking him up front, he began to get worse, and they called an ambulance.

“When the ambulance got here, he had already passed away,” Cherry said.

The GBI is reviewing the case. Special Agent in Charge Greg Ramey said that’s common practice when an inmate dies in custody. The investigation is ongoing, but Ramey said nothing looks suspicious so far.

“Our initial indication was he had presented with some medical issues earlier in the evening, and then sometime during the morning, he died,” Ramey said. “It’s not uncommon within local sheriff’s departments or police departments if someone dies in custody” for the GBI to get involved.