Crime

Synthetic marijuana killed a Benner state prison inmate. 2 people now face charges

A dedication and tour was held at State Correctional Institution at Benner Township (SCI Benner) Monday, April 1, 2013.  The prison cost nearly $200 million to construct and is 46 acres inside the perimeter’s fence.
A dedication and tour was held at State Correctional Institution at Benner Township (SCI Benner) Monday, April 1, 2013. The prison cost nearly $200 million to construct and is 46 acres inside the perimeter’s fence. Centre Daily Times, file

A second person has been charged after a state police at Rockview investigation into the death of a 28-year-old inmate at Benner state prison in March.

Khasion Garland was found unresponsive during count time before ultimately being pronounced dead at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

An autopsy found that Garland had three balloons filled with synthetic marijuana, or K2, in his system. Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers ruled the manner of death as accidental and the cause of as a drug overdose.

Jahbree Payne, a 32-year-old inmate, was the first to be charged. On Tuesday, Shanike Everett, Payne’s 33-year-old wife from Altoona, was arrested.

In an interview with police in May, Payne said he and Everett brought synthetic marijuana into the prison about 10 times in the past year.

He said Everett would purchase drugs on the internet or from suppliers in Altoona before placing about eight to 10 balloons under her breasts to get the balloons into the prison.

Bath salts, K2, and Spice are all commonly, and often legally, available products being used as synthetic drugs.

Payne also told police Everett placed five balloons filled with synthetic marijuana in a garbage can in the women’s bathroom the day before Garland was found unresponsive. Everett then told Garland where the balloons were. She relayed Everett’s message to his sister, who retrieved the balloons from the bathroom, according to police.

Police also reviewed several drug related phone conversations between Payne and Everett after Garland’s death, according to police.

Despite Payne telling police he would “take all the charges” for his wife, Everett was charged with two felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility and four misdemeanors.

She was arraigned before District Judge Carmine Prestia, who set bail at $50,000 unsecured.

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5.

Overdoses on synthetic cannabinoids, sometimes known as K2 or Spice, are the latest deadly epidemic in Florida Prisons. The Florida Department of Corrections suspects K2 is behind a dramatic uptick in prison deaths.

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