Prosecutor: No criminal charges in inmate’s death

A Paragould man who died while in custody reportedly complained of pain “due to boxing.”
A Paragould man who died while in custody reportedly complained of pain “due to boxing.”(Greene Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 2:54 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Paragould man who died while in custody reportedly complained of pain “due to boxing.”

Prosecuting Attorney Sonia Fonticiella said Tuesday an investigation found insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against anyone at the Greene County Detention Center for the death of Marshall Price.

According to the news release, Arkansas State Police conducted a comprehensive investigation surrounding Price’s Dec. 7 death.

“Inmates reported that Price had been consensually boxing with another inmate, Odell Lewis, three days before his death,” the report said. “Before his death, Price complained to other inmates that his ribs and stomach hurt due to the boxing.”

Price also reportedly told the other inmates that he had “sustained an injury to his abdominal area before he went into custody.”

Special agents interviewed Lewis, who admitted he and Price had boxed three days before his death.

“Lewis said they placed toilet paper rolls on their hands and covered them with socks for boxing gloves, and inmates would swap blows until one person gave up,” the report said. “Lewis said Price quit after getting hit twice and said he had hurt his ribs before coming into custody.”

Lewis told investigators the boxing match was “mutual, and they were not trying to hurt each other.”

The report noted that Price did not tell medical staff about these injuries.

On Dec. 7, Price reportedly fell and hit his head in his cell. The report said he was treated at the jail and told to rest. A few hours later, Price “requested medical staff” and was taken to the infirmary, where his condition “continued to deteriorate.”

A transport van then took Price to a local hospital where he later died.

According to the news release, the autopsy revealed Price died of “hypovolemic shock due to hemoperitoneum due to recent blunt force injuries of the torso.” It also listed splenomegaly and hepatic cirrhosis as contributing causes.

The manner of death was listed as “undetermined.”

According to Fonticiella, several prosecutors reviewed the case and found no evidence that anyone “acted with criminal negligence” to support a charge and prosecution in Price’s death.

“The undisputed statements are that Mr. Price participated in a consensual boxing match with another inmate at the Greene County Jail,” Fonticiella said. “After thorough review of the investigation into Mr. Price’s death, no criminal charges will be filed.”