Inmate dies at Jackson County Jail

Authorities believe the man had a medical issue.

Posted: Nov. 28, 2017 9:15 AM
Updated: Nov. 28, 2017 11:00 AM

State authorities are investigating the death of a man overnight at the Jackson County Jail.

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Johnny Lester Townson, 47, of Rainsville, was found lying face down in a cell around 10:30 p.m., according to Jackson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen.

Harnen said Townson's death is believed to be from a medical issue.

Townson had been given a pass to visit his cardiologist earlier Monday in Birmingham and had come back late to the jail, Harnen said. He was in a holding cell waiting for a breathalyzer test when jail surveillance video showed he collapsed on the floor.

Townson was being held in the jail on multiple charges, including theft and escape, according to jail records.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating.

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