VARNER, Ark. – An inmate of the Arkansas state penitentiary in Varner was found dead in his cell Thursday.

Caleb Cogburn was found dead in his cell at the Arkansas Department of Corrections Varner Unit on Dec. 8, 2022.

In a statement by the Arkansas Department of Corrections on Friday, 24-year-old Caleb Cogburn was pronounced dead after being found in his cell early that morning. Cogburn was an inmate of the state’s Varner unit, located about 30 minutes south of Pine Bluff.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating Cogburn’s death, and the Department of Corrections is conducting an internal investigation, per the statement. He had been serving a 40-year sentence, which began in April.

Court records show Cogburn was sentenced for felony rape and sexual assault of a 1-year-old child in a May 2021 incident in Pope County.  

The Department of Corrections Varner unit includes a separate Supermax section. It has a total capacity of 1,714 inmates.