MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A maximum-security inmate in Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX) died after ingesting fentanyl last year, state officials confirmed after months of requests.

Angelo Bunting was 24 years old when he died in NECX custody. He was serving a combined sentence of eight years after being pleading guilty to an aggravated robbery charge in Shelby County, according to court documents.

Bunting was found dead in the Mountain City facility in late 2022. Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) public information officer Robert Reburn declined to describe what a maximum-security designation would mean for Bunting’s schedule and access to other inmates, reportedly due to the ongoing investigation of his death. That investigation has been underway since at least October 10, 2022.

Photo: TDOC

Reburn said Bunting’s death certificate classifies his death as accidental and lists the suspected cause as fentanyl intoxication.

The TDOC also continues investigating how Bunting acquired and ingested fentanyl, despite his maximum security status. Reburn also declined to release autopsy results due to the investigation’s status.

State legislator Scotty Campbell — whose constituency covers NECX’s location — told News Channel 11 that while the general assembly receives letters from TDOC surrounding inmate deaths, he was unaware of the nature of Bunting’s passing and was unsure where it may have been filed.