Michael Binns, Sr.

Michael Binns Sr. apparently died of natural causes, according Arkansas Department of Correction spokeswoman Dina Tyler and 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen.

“He died of natural causes but we don’t have the exact reason yet,” Tyler said. “The medical examiner will tell us more.”

Binns, a former Monticello School District choir director and ordained minister who was sentenced to 45 years in prison on July 14 for two counts of sexual assault, was pronouced dead at Jefferson Regional Medical Center Sunday afternoon at 4:38 p.m.,  according to Tyler.

Tyler said Binns arrived at the Arkansas Department of Correction Diagnostic Unit on July 22 and was taken to the hospital on July 27 after having “uncontrollable seizures.”

“He was having uncontrollable seizures but we don’t know, at this point, what was the cause,” she said.

Deen said Binns’ attorney told him several days ago that Binns had a heart attack but Tyler said she wasn’t aware of him having had a heart attack.

His body has been taken to the state Medical Examiner of an autopsy, she said.