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Arundel inmate dies of possible heart attack

A 64-year-old inmate at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center died late last month of an apparent heart attack while serving jail time for drunken driving, jail officials said Monday.

Joseph Powell, of Severn, entered the Ordnance Road facility in Glen Burnie on March 25 to serve the third of five two-day sentences for a drunken driving conviction. On March 27, Powell was set to be released, "when it appeared he had an upper respiratory episode," said Brenda Shell Eleazer, the correctional facility administrator of the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Annapolis. Powell was treated by the detention center medical staff and then transferred to Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, where he died. An autopsy is pending.

Powell pleaded guilty March 10 to driving while impaired by alcohol and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation.

Attempts to reach Powell's family were unsuccessful Monday, but Powell's stepdaughter, Alfreda Proctor Turner of Crofton, told The Capital newspaper that Powell had an asthma attack on March 27, and jail officials gave him incorrect medicine, and Powell ultimately died of a heart attack.

Eleazer said the detention center was conducting an investigation and said she could not comment on the details of Powell's death.

Justin Mulcahy, a spokesman for the county police, said the department's preliminary investigation found "nothing suspicious."

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