PARAGOULD, Ark. – The family of the man killed in Greene County Jail after being incarcerated for kratom has still not received answers in his death.
“We have not received any response,” his daughter, Julian Jones, told NEA Report on Monday.
Almost two months have passed since Marshall Ray Price, 46, died in custody of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. Price was convicted of a felony for buying the herbal extract kratom at a gas station in Missouri and then driving back to Arkansas. Price, who had a public defender in the case, was sentenced to ten years.
Before the sentence could begin, Price sustained severe injuries while in the Greene County jail. He was taken to a hospital in Paragould and died. The coroner told Price’s daughter he had sustained a skull fracture, broken ribs, a busted spleen and swelling of the brain.
That was on December 7. On Sunday, January 22, 2023, the family organized their second demonstration in front of the jail.
The family has received no updates and no information in nearly two months. Attempts to request video of the arrest, jail records, and any updates at all have been met with silence from authorities who seem eager to want to forget this.
But it’s a trauma that Julian only wishes she could forget.
“I have gotten into therapy to help work through the overwhelming emotions that are the result of this,” Julian said. “My fathers death has caused a lot of pain; not only is that pain mental and emotional, but it has affected my physical health. Anxiety attacks, panic attacks, tremors, migraines, nausea…these are daily occurrences for me.”
Julian has found strength in her friends, family and coworkers who have supported her. She’s also found support from a large online community that has taken an interest in her father’s case. Many who have contacted her have horror stories of their own from the Greene County jail.
“The number of people who have reached out to tell us of their story of abuse at the Greene County Jail has been overwhelming,” Julian said. “We have now asked that those people begin to share their testimony on the Justice for Marshall Facebook page. I think it’s important to address this issue as a whole. My father might still be alive if the Greene County Jail had better training, more transparency, and an ounce of accountability.”
NEA Report has not received responses from state police to two different inquiries in this case. For the family, the silence is deafening.
Family and friends aren’t giving up hope, though. They’re continuing to fight for answers and for meaningful change that might prevent this from happening again.
While that may take some time, Julian is using these difficult moments to become stronger and better, herself. She said she specifically found strength from reading her father’s last message sent to her.
“I just wanted to say that my dads last message to me shattered me into a million pieces,” Julian said. “I have really found strength in God and He is helping rebuild me. My dad’s last message was so beautiful, it set my heart onto God’s path.”