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Two Arkansas Department of Correction inmates died of "natural causes" in April, a prison spokesman said Monday.

Inmate Christopher Alexander, 40, died at 12:09 p.m. April 3 at the Ouachita River Correction Unit. Charles Butler, 62, died at 4:56 a.m. April 9 at Jefferson Regional Medical Center, prison spokesman Cathy Frye said Monday in an email.

Frye released the information after an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette inquiry because no prison death notifications had been received since March 16.

Alexander was serving a 25-year Crittenden County sentence for manufacturing, delivery and possession of a controlled substance.

Butler was serving a 96-year Faulkner County sentence for rape.

In January, prison officials stopped releasing specific causes of death for inmates. Instead, each death is classified as "natural causes" unless there are special circumstances that would lead to an Arkansas State Police investigation.

There have been 23 Arkansas prison deaths since Jan. 1; there were 56 deaths in 2014.

State Desk on 06/02/2015

Print Headline: State reports April deaths of 2 inmates

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