Tuesday at approximately 6:31 p.m., staff at the Cummins Unit in Grady were alerted by another inmate that Inmate John Howell was lying unresponsive on the floor of his assigned barracks. Responding correctional officers and medical staff performed emergency medical treatment. Howell was later transported to the unit infirmary for further emergency medical treatment; however, Howell was pronounced dead at 6:47 p.m. in the unit infirmary.

The Arkansas State Police (ASP) were immediately notified and responded to the unit. They will be conducting an investigation into the death. The State Crime Lab will be asked to perform a post-mortem examination of the body. The Department of Correction will also be conducting an internal investigation into the death.

Howell was a 58 year old white male serving a sentence of Life Without Parole for Capital Murder out of Garland County. Howell had been in the custody of the ADC since 1995 and assigned to the Cummins Unit since January 2008.