The Vermont State Police investigation is ongoing into the death of an inmate Wednesday at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans. The inmate is identified as Shawn Gardner, 37, of Newport.
VSP’s initial investigation and examination of the scene found Gardner was in possession of an unknown substance prior to his becoming unresponsive. Toxicology testing will occur as part of Gardner’s autopsy at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington; these tests can take several weeks to several months.
Gardner was a federal inmate housed in a segregated unit within the correctional facility. He initially was detained Tuesday, July 25, at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport and was transferred to the St. Albans prison prior to a hearing Wednesday, July 26, in federal court. Shortly after returning to Northwest State from the hearing, Gardner collapsed in the shower area and was subsequently pronounced dead.
No further information is available from the state police at this time. VSP will provide updates as the investigation continues.