Army veteran found dead in his jail cell

Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A DeKalb County inmate died Friday, two days after experiencing a medical emergency in his cell, the sheriff’s office said.

The medical team rendered aid to Christon Devante Collins, 27, in his cell Wednesday until paramedics arrived, a spokesperson for the sheriff said. Collins was taken to a hospital, where he died.

No further details were released about how Collins died.

The Atlanta man had been in custody since Feb. 4 on charges of obstruction and simple battery against police. One day earlier, he was released from the DeKalb jail after an arrest Feb. 1 on a criminal trespassing charge, records show.

In January, Collins pleaded guilty to interference with government property and obstruction and was sentenced to serve two years, court records show. However, he was ordered to be released Jan. 26.

“The two years are suspended on the condition that defendant is released to go to the Atlanta VA Medical Center for treatment, and successfully complete any recommended treatment,” court documents state.

The death is being investigated by the agency’s Office of Professional Standards. It is the latest in a string of unrelated deaths involving inmates in metro Atlanta and North Georgia jails.

Milburn says her son has had mental health problems since he got out of the Army. 

“He served our country, he gave his time, not only did he give his time, he gave his mind because he came back a totally different person,” said Jonia Milburn.

“She says she has tried to get her son some help,” Fox5 reports. “She called jail officials and state leaders to plead to get him transferred from the jail to the VA for treatment.”

On Saturday, a Clarke County inmate died after being found unresponsive in her cell, the sheriff’s office said. During a check at around 1:45 a.m. at the jail on Lexington Road in Athens, officials said staff noticed that the 41-year-old, whose name was not released, was unresponsive and “apparently in medical distress.” Medical personnel provided aid until EMS arrived at the scene.

In 2023, 10 inmate deaths were reported at the Fulton County jail.

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