Originally created 02/24/02

GBI looks into jail death



ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents are still investigating last week's death of a Madison County man who was being held at the Newton County Jail in Covington.

William Barry Barnette, 49, of Danielsville, Ga., died at Newton General Hospital early Wednesday.

He had been in jail since Dec. 18 on charges of not paying child support, according to Newton County Sheriff Joe Nichols.

Mr. Barnette was diabetic and hadn't had an insulin injection since the Sunday before his death, according to his Danielsville roommate, Nancy Clark. Ms. Clark said Mr. Barnette became ill Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff Nichols said Mr. Barnette was placed in an observation cell and was later taken to the hospital, where he died about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

GBI agents from the agency's office in Conyers returned to the jail Friday to continue interviewing inmates and officers, according to Newton County Sheriff's Capt. Mark Thomas.

Charles Robertson, the special agent in charge of the Conyers GBI office, refused to comment on the investigation.