No criminal negligence in death of inmate found unresponsive, DA says

By Denise Pridgen

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams has determined there is no criminal negligence by jail staff in the death of an inmate last fall.

Jesse Lee Owenby was found unresponsive on the floor of his Buncombe County Detention Facility cell Oct. 30, 2021. Jail staff and EMS attempted to revive him but were unsuccessful. Owenby was pronounced dead before being transported by EMS.

The SBI investigated and turned its findings over to Williams last month.

After reviewing the report and consulting with the state medical examiner’s office, Williams found no evidence of negligence or reckless acts by jail staff.

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