Three Inmates Dead in Days at Varner Unit

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas correction officials say three inmates at the Varner unit are dead and others have been treated for unknown reasons.

One mother is trying to understand how her son died while in prison.

Marlon Miles was found unresponsive in his jail cell this morning
He’d been serving a sentence on robbery charges.

Officially — investigators are waiting on autopsy results.  Unofficially a spokesperson says it could be related to illicit drugs.

“I thought it was a prank call”

Renee Miles says it’s a phone call Monday morning that will change her life forever.

“Instead of preparing for a homecoming I’m preparing for a homegoing.”

Renee’s son,  41-year-old Marlon Miles, was found dead in his Varner unit jail cell around 1 a.m.

“They said they don’t know.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Correction says since Sunday, three Varner inmates have died and others have been treated but wouldn’t go into detail.

A spokesperson says it would not be out of the realm of possibility that illicit drugs are involved.

“Hearing his voice telling me everytime he calls, I miss you momma. “

Renee says her son — serving a robbery sentence would have been released in February.

She says because of her age — she wasn’t able to travel to the Varner Unit so Marlon Would call as much as he could.

“We mostly asked about the outside world and how it was and he was telling me that, he told me he would get into a little trouble and ‘Momma I done something I shouldn’t do.’

An ADC spokesperson calls the deaths a “matter of significant concern”. 

Renee says her last phone call with Marlon was cut short.

“In fact, two weeks that’s what his last call was…I can’t talk long just wanted to call and tell you I love you.”

ADC director Wendy Kelley has testified before the prison has had an issue wtih contraband, especially K-2 — a synthetic drug being smuggled into the prisons.

Renee’s husband drowned last year while fishing so she’s taking this incredibly hard.
She’s working with some churches on funeral arrangements trying to get Marlon’s body before time runs out and the state cremates her son.

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