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PINE BLUFF — The Arkansas Department of Correction says state police detectives have been asked to investigate the death of a state prison inmate.

Officials said Wednesday that 58-year-old inmate John Howell was pronounced dead Tuesday at the Cummins Unit in Grady.

Correctional officers found Howell after they were alerted by another inmate that he was lying unresponsive on the floor of his cell. Medical staff performed emergency medical treatment, but Howell was pronounced dead at 6:47 p.m. in the unit infirmary.

Corrections officials say State Police will investigate Howell's death and corrections staff will conduct an internal investigation.

Howell was serving a life prison sentence for murder out of Garland County. Howell had been in the Correction Department's custody since 1995 and had been assigned to the Cummins Unit since January 2008.

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