Thursday, November 10, 2005


Jail guard faces drug charges

TIPTON, Ind. -- A Tipton County jailer is accused of providing OxyContin to an inmate who later was found dead, according to court documents.

The jailer, Thomas D. Owens Jr., 24, was being held Monday on $100,000 bond in the Howard County Jail in Kokomo on charges of trafficking contraband, including two felony counts of trafficking controlled substances. An initial hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.

Owens was arrested last week following the death of inmate Joshua Lee Maine. Indiana State Police investigating Maine's death said they found evidence that the jailer had been trafficking with inmates, though it was not clear whether the alleged contraband might be linked with Maine's death.

According to a probable-cause affidavit filed by prosecutors Monday in Tipton Circuit Court, Maine's girlfriend told investigators that she had given Xanax and OxyContin to Owens and asked him to deliver the drugs to Maine, who was being held on charges of public intoxication and trespassing.

Owens admitted to delivering drugs and other items to inmates in return for money, the document alleges.

Maine, 21, Sharpsville, was pronounced dead in a hospital Nov. 2 after jail staff found him unconscious in his cell and were unable to revive him.

See our complete collection of bad behavior at the hands of prison and jail guards: Where did they learn that?

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