Butts County Sheriff's Office

Authorities are investigating the death of a federal inmate who was being housed at the Butts County Jail.

Charles Randall Canion, 57, of Kathleen, Ga., was booked into the Butts County Jail June 18 under a contract the jail has to house pre-sentence inmates for the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to Will Hawkins, chief deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service for the Middle District of Georgia, Canion died late in the evening June 23. He said the Marshals Service was notified of the death around 11 p.m.

Hawkins said his agency and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are reviewing the circumstances of the death, and while the medical examiner’s autopsy report and toxicology tests are still pending, there were no immediate indications of foul play or negligence.

Hawkins said Canion was being held on charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin after having been arrested by the FBI.

Butts County Sheriff Gary Long said Canion reported to jail staff being a heroin user when he was booked, and was being housed in a medical ward in the care of a physician and under video surveillance at the time he died.

Hawkins said Canion’s was the first death of a federal inmate housed at the Butts County Jail since the program began several years ago. He said the Marshals Service conducts announced and unannounced visits of the facilities where it houses inmates, and praised the Butts County Jail’s operations.

“I’ve toured the jail many times ... It is always in top notch shape. They have appropriate staffing,” Hawkins said. “The sheriff has a facility the county can be proud of.”

Managing Editor

Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.