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Central Prison offender dies after assault

An offender at Central Prison died Thursday night after an apparent assault by another offender in a prison housing area.

Dustin Keith Payne (#0760617) was found collapsed in a housing unit common area.  Prison staff responded and administered emergency care. Payne, 38, was pronounced dead by a physician shortly after 8:30 p.m.

State Capitol Police are investigating the case, and the Department of Adult Correction will conduct an internal investigation.

Payne was serving multiple sentences for numerous convictions in Buncombe County and was scheduled for release in February 2025.

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