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Autopsy shows inmate died of natural causes

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

Autopsy results have revealed how the husband of a Shelby woman, who is set to be tried for murder in Lincoln County next month, died earlier this week in his Cleveland County jail cell.
Eight days after 45-year-old Dwight Stacy Justice, an overweight smoker, was convicted of felony child abuse in the death of his 2-year-old stepson Jeremiah Swafford, he was found dead inside his cell Tuesday morning.
Autopsy results from the Mecklenburg County
Coroner’s Office revealed that Justice died as a result of natural causes, more specifically a brain aneurysm.
Inmates became concerned after they didn’t hear Justice’s standard snoring during the night, according to The Charlotte Observer, which also reported that Swafford said she wasn’t too concerned about her husband’s death but was relieved to find that Justice had received exactly what his name implied — justice.
He had been in jail awaiting sentencing for his felony conviction and was facing between six and 12 years behind bars, court authorities said.
His 23-year-old wife, Kathy Lynn Swafford, will also be tried in her son’s death next month in Lincoln County.  She also faces felony child abuse as well as first-degree murder, a charge Justice was found not guilty of on Jan. 30.
Jeremiah Swafford passed away at Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte in 2009 after enduring a severe beating. Soon after, Swafford and Justice were charged with the boy’s murder.
Swafford’s trial begins March 12. Bill Young is the lead prosecutor in the case.

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