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COVINGTON — An inmate at the Newton County Detention Center died by apparent suicide Sunday, Sept. 26.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the deceased as John Willie Ward Jr., 49, of Griffin. According to the GBI, the cause and manner of death are pending the official results of an autopsy. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the death as a suicide.

According to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, since the GBI is investigating, the Sheriff’s Office cannot release any further details at this time.

Ward was arrested by the Covington Police Department on Sept. 24 after allegedly waving a gun outside the home of a family member on Haynes Court.

When police arrived, they searched Ward’s vehicle and found suspected methamphetamine. Ward was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and weapons and drug charges.

Ward's wife Kay Ward said her husband had been a meth user in the past, but had been clean for the past two years. She said he had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and was in a great deal of pain.

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Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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