Only on 9: Family searching for answers after loved one dies in jail

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Family members are searching for answers after their loved one died while in custody at the Iredell County Detention Center.

“It’s been a lot. My family has gone through a lot. For one, we weren’t expecting this,” Annikia Oglesby said.

Annikia Oglesby is the first cousin of 42-year-old Charles Lamont Stevenson. Stevenson’s death occurred after he was arrested on drug charges.

“I notified my sister and told her to go to the jailhouse because they are saying Chuckie is dead,” Annikia Oglesby explained. “We both started crying ... we broke down.”

According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Stevenson consumed fentanyl in his holding cell on Nov. 28.

But his loved ones question how the drugs were able to get into his cell.

“We are just a family that wants answers,” Tiffany Oglesby, another cousin to Stevenson, said.

“They’ve neglected to really properly search him,” Annikia Oglesby echoed.

Channel 9′s Amilya White spoke to Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell about the incident. Campbell said he watched jail surveillance video to get a better understanding of what happened.

“Prior to coming to jail, he had inserted a large amount of fentanyl and other chemicals in his rectum. And he decided to expel that out and then consume it himself,” Campbell said.

Campbell explained that his deputies followed search protocol, and any future searches would have required a search warrant.

“We do have body scanners. They work, but you know, obviously, they are not going to pick up a powdery type thing,” Campbell said. “Legally, we can’t go into orifices and things like that. That’s not something that legally we can do.”

Campbell said that within minutes of Stevenson consuming the drugs in his holding cell, he became unconscious. Campbell said officers, as well as emergency service officials, tried to revive Stevenson, but he later died.

“These officers rushed in to try to help save this man’s life,” Campbell said.

However, Stevenson’s loved ones still wish the outcome could have been different.

“It’s a very sad situation. I thank God he’s not leaving any children behind, but he’s still had a family out here that loves him,” Tiffany Oglesby explained.

The State Bureau of Investigation has taken over this case. A toxicology report is also pending.

Channel 9 has reached out to the sheriff’s office for a timeline of the series of events that led up to this incident, from the time Stevenson was taken into the holding cell to the time he became unconscious.

Campbell said he is working to provide that information.

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Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV