CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Fort Smith man was charged with manslaughter after his nephew had a medical emergency in the Crawford County jail and later died.
David Alverson, 50, was charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with felony manslaughter and an additional count as a habitual offender on December 13, 2022. Alverson’s nephew, Jacob Jones, 26, was arrested by Van Buren police on an outstanding warrant on October 14, 2022, and video taken inside a police cruiser showed him remove a bag of what appeared to be drugs and swallow it beside Alverson.
Jones was booked into the Crawford County jail and died hours later. Sheriff Jim Damante said that a medical examiner confirmed that the bag Jones swallowed broke open in the man’s stomach and the cause of death was ruled as an overdose.
Alverson’s criminal information filing said that the manslaughter charge is applicable when “a person or accomplice negligently causes the death of any person” during a felony or in direct connection to it. A public defender appointed for Alverson submitted an entry of appearance on December 14 and said that her client waived a formal arraignment and he entered a plea of not guilty to both charges.
A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for April 4.