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Deceased inmate battled drug dependency for years


Charles Jeffrey Allen

Charles Jeffrey Allen



Isabelle Altman



A Louisville man died at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center Monday night. 


The inmate, Charles Jeffrey Allen, 46, suffered from a lifelong battle with drug addiction, his family said. 


Allen was served with an indictment for possession of methamphetamines last week, following an arrest for meth and marijuana in May. He was booked in the jail on $5,000 bond. 


It wasn't the first time, Allen's mother, Diann Allen, said. 


Her son, who she called "Jeff", had been in and out of correctional facilities for a systemic drug problem. She and her husband tried to get him help, she said, but it never took. 


"He had beautiful children," Diann said, referring to her son's 18-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. "That didn't change him." 


Diann remembered her son as a kind, likable person. 


"If he walked up (to you) on the street ... you would think he was one of the nicest people you would ever meet," she said.  


As a child, she said, he had been "precious" -- and he still was to her. 


"We would try to help him, but he was just too far gone," she said. 


As for the events of Monday night, when first responders were called to the jail because of Allen's death, she doesn't know what happened. 


The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating Allen's death, according to authorities with the jail and Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. LCSO did not release any information about the death other than to confirm it. 


MBI spokesperson Warren Strain did not return calls from The Dispatch. 


Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant, who identified Allen's body, said he can't confirm cause of death until after state medical examiners perform an autopsy, but that the death appears to have been suicide by hanging. 


Allen's May arrest was not the first time he was behind bars in Lowndes County. According to his indictment, he had been charged with multiple felonies in the past -- all non-violent. 


His attorney, Rhonda Hayes-Ellis of Columbus, didn't comment on Allen's death except to say it was unfortunate and that she is keeping his family in her thoughts.  


An autopsy is expected to be performed today at the State Medical Examiner's Office in Pearl, Merchant said.




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