Arkansas Prisons

Authorities are investigating the death of a 25-year-old inmate who was found unresponsive at a maximum-security prison in Arkansas.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says guards at the Tucker Unit found Isaiah Chandler unconscious in his cell at about 10:15 a.m. Sunday. Graves says the officers and medical staff began emergency treatment, but Chandler was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

The death is under investigation by Arkansas State Police.

An execution drug obtained by the Arkansas prison system earlier this month appears to have been made by a subsidiary of Pfizer, even though Pfizer has said it doesn't want its drugs to be used in executions.

The Associated Press on Monday obtained redacted photos of the vecuronium bromide label from the Arkansas Department of Correction. It matches labels submitted to the National Institutes of Health by Hospira, Inc., which Pfizer bought last year.

Arkansas says it has a new supply of a drug used for lethal injections that had expired last month, potentially clearing the way for the state to resume executions after a decade-long hiatus.

The state Department of Correction on Tuesday said it had received a supply of vecuronium bromide with an expiration date of March 1, 2018. The state's previous supply of the paralytic expired on June 30.

The announcement comes less than a month after the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a state law that keeps information about lethal injection drugs confidential.

An inmate who escaped a northwestern Arkansas jail, showed up at a nearby bar a week later, ordered a beer and declared he was turning himself in.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that 45-year-old Shaun Higham turned up Tuesday night at Mitch's Place in Paris, about 6 miles from the Logan County Jail. He was wearing a dirty prison uniform and covered in insect bites.

Logan County Sheriff Boyd Hicks says there had been no sightings of Higham since he picked a lock and fled the county jail on June 28.

A former Arkansas women's prison chaplain accused of coercing inmates into sex acts has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce says 67-year-old Kenneth Dewitt pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Boyce says Dewitt agreed to three concurrent 10-year prison sentences with five years suspended on each count. Formal sentencing is set for Aug. 3.

Cummins arkansas department of correction prison
Arkansas Department of Correction

A state task force looking at the rapid growth of Arkansas’s prison population will hear initial findings Wednesday from a national group.

Lloyd Jones
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

A convicted Arkansas killer who escaped while on work detail has been captured.

A spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction says the 40-year-old Lloyd Jones was caught Thursday just after 3 p.m. Spokesman Solomon Graves said no other information would be immediately released.

Jones disappeared Monday while on a work detail at the East Arkansas Unit at Brickeys, about 120 miles east of Little Rock.

Jones was serving a 60-year sentence after being convicted of strangling 16-year-old Angela Allen and stuffing her body into a barrel.

Lloyd Jones
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture of a convicted Arkansas killer who escaped while on a prison work crew.

The FBI in Little Rock announced the reward Wednesday for help in arresting 40-year-old Lloyd Jones.

The Arkansas Department of Correction says Jones disappeared Monday while on a work detail at the East Arkansas Unit at Brickeys, about 120 miles east of Little Rock. Department spokesman Solomon Graves said prison guards noticed Jones was missing from a work crew around noon.

Lloyd Jones
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

Arkansas officials say a man who admitted killing a teenager and then stuffing her body in a barrel buried on his brother's property has escaped from prison.

Prisons spokesman Solomon Graves said 40-year-old Lloyd Jones of Lavaca has been missing since midday Monday. Graves said Jones was on a work crew at the maximum-security East Arkansas Unit near Brickeys.

Graves said it wasn't clear how Jones escaped, and he didn't know what work Jones had been assigned to do.

A project to convert a West Memphis hospital into a facility for nonviolent offenders is nearing completion. The Arkansas Board of Corrections will be hearing updates on the renovation at its meeting Thursday.

The $650,000 project will house 300 nonviolent female offenders, many of whom are now assigned to a compound in Pine Bluff, called the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center. Officials say the buildings there are deteriorating and can not be maintained at a reasonable cost.