Polk County inmate dies after convulsions

Published April 3, 2006

FROSTPROOF - A Polk County Jail inmate died early Saturday after going into convulsions in his cell, authorities said.

David Cowles, 23, of Frostproof, began convulsing shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, according to a sheriff's report.

Two other inmates in the cell called for deputies through the intercom system, the report stated. Cowles' convulsions stopped by the time deputies arrived, but he was unresponsive, authorities said.

Cowles was taken to Lake Wales Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff's report stated.

The Polk County Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy, and homicide detectives were investigating, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Cowles had no known medical conditions when he was booked into the Frostproof jail Jan. 15 on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence battery and harassing phone calls, authorities said.

Another county inmate died March 19 after authorities used an electronic riot shield on him during an altercation. James Lee Griffin, 21, passed out at the Bartow jail's nurse's station after being shocked, and could not be revived, authorities said.