Detainee found unresponsive, died in cell in Buncombe Co.


BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – A detainee was found unresponsive then later died in his cell in Buncombe Co.

According to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Jesse Lee Owenby, 49, was found unresponsive on the floor of his cell by a detention officer who was conducting supervision rounds at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 30.

Detention staff and EMS attempted to revive Owenby, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced deceased before being transported by EMS, the sheriff’s office said. 

The State Bureau of Investigation and Buncombe County District Attorney have been notified. The SBI will conduct an independent investigation as is standard practice.

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