No Criminal Charges Filed in Sebastian County Detention Death

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On Friday, November 6, the office of Sebastian County Prosecutor Daniel Shue issued a statement regarding the death investigation of Jacob William Honeycutt, an inmate at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center.

The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has completed its review of the investigative reports surrounding the death of Jacob William Honeycutt. On July 30, 2020, Mr. Honeycutt was booked into the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center and told his cellmate that he had ingested methamphetamine earlier in the day. Later, the next day, July 31, 2020, while watching television, his cellmate noticed that Mr. Honeycutt began having a seizure and notified Detention deputies of the medical emergency. Sebastian County Detention Center deputies responded and attempted medical intervention; however, the lifesaving measures were to no avail, and Mr. Honeycutt was pronounced dead. I have personally reviewed the entire Arkansas State Police investigative file, which includes interviews with the Detention Center staff, Sebastian County Sheriff’s deputies, inmates within the Sebastian County Detention Center, and the autopsy report before making this decision. It is the opinion of this office that no criminal charges can be filed against any person with regard to this death.

From the facts and circumstances we know, Mr. Honeycutt was incarcerated in the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center on charges of Aggravated Assault on a Family or Household Member. He had been an inmate in the Detention Center since July 30, 2020, the day before his death. Mr. Honeycutt had not made any complaints with regard to his physical condition. After being summoned to his cell, deputies began utilizing the manual resuscitation bag on Mr. Honeycutt and were able to find a faint pulse. A nurse also assisted as deputies began administering Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Fort Smith EMS personnel transported Mr. Honeycutt to Baptist Health Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Subsequently, an autopsy was performed on August 3, 2020, by Dr. Charles P. Kokes, M.D. of the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory – Medical Examiner Division, which concluded that the Cause of Death was Acute Myocardial Infarct Due to Thrombosis of Left Anterior Descending Coronary Artery Due to Hypertensive Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease with a Contributory Cause of Methamphetamine Use. It is significant to note that the Toxicology Report also reported the presence of methamphetamine in Mr. Honeycutt’s blood. A 75% focal narrowing of the mid left anterior descending coronary artery was also observed. The autopsy noted “(a)lthough the primary cause of death was related to natural disease processes, the contributory effects of methamphetamine add an unnatural element to the cause of death, and the manner cannot be classified as natural. Methamphetamine is a cardiac stimulant; its use causes the heart to work harder, which is extremely dangerous for someone with coronary artery disease. Assuming that his use of methamphetamine was voluntary and not intended to cause hard, the manner of death will be classified as accident.” Considering the totality of the circumstances and the applicable law, no criminal offense has been committed.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; Editor - Resident Press. 20+ years experience in the news.

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