Mississippi prison crisis: 18th inmate dies since Dec. 29, second in 24 hours

Lici Beveridge, The Clarion-Ledger

JACKSON, Miss. – A state inmate died in state custody early Sunday, the second in the past 24 hours.

Rankin County Coroner David Ruth confirmed he collected a body from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and took it to the medical examiner's office.

"I don't suspect foul play," he said. "But that will depend on the autopsy."

Ruth said he had not contacted the inmate's family so was not releasing any more information about the death.

The inmate's death is the 18th since Dec. 29, when an inmate was killed during a "major disturbance" at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution.

That inmate's death was followed by a week of riots and prison violence in which at least four inmates were killed. Since then, other inmates have died from suicide, fights with other inmates or natural causes.

Related Video: Family Mourns Inmate Killed in Mississippi Prison

On Saturday, 54-year-old Bobby Vance died of apparent natural causes at Merit Health Central Hospital. He was also an inmate at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. 

Previously: Justice Department investigating Mississippi prison conditions amid slew of deaths

Inmate deaths since Dec. 29

  • Feb. 16 — Unidentified inmate dies at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. No foul play is suspected.

  • Feb. 15 — Bobby Lewis Vance, 54, died of apparent natural causes at Merit Health Central Hospital.

  • Feb. 10 — James Allen Brown, 54, died of apparent natural causes in the hospital at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

  • Feb. 1 — Jesus Garcia, 39, was found lying unresponsive in his cell. Medical personnel were called and began life-saving measures, which were unsuccessful. His cause of death has not been released.

  • Jan. 30 — Nora Ducksworth, 52, died of apparent natural causes. Official cause of death is pending autopsy.

  • Jan. 28 — Limarion Reaves, 28, was talking to a relative on a facility phone when he fell ill and collapsed. CPR and AED shocks were administered by medical staff until an ambulance arrived. Reaves was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

  • Jan. 26 — Joshua Norman, 26, was found hanging in his single-man cell in Parchman's Unit 29, during a security check. No visible signs of foul play. Official cause of death is pending autopsy.

  • Jan. 25 — Jermaine Tyler, 38, was found unresponsive in his housing unit at Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs.

  • Jan. 22 — Thomas Lee, 49, was found dead in his cell at Parchman. MDOC has called his death "an apparent suicide."

  • Jan. 21 — James Talley, 36, died at Parchman of what appeared to be blunt force beating injuries following an altercation with other inmates.

  • Jan. 21 — Timothy Hudspeth, 35, died at Parchman of what appeared to be blunt force beating injuries following an altercation with other inmates.

  • Jan. 18 — Gabriel Carmen, 31, was found hanging in his cell at Parchman.

  • Jan. 8 — A.D. Mills, a 42-year-old Parchman inmate, died of "natural causes" at a hospital in Clarksdale.

  • Jan. 3 — Denorris Howell, 36, died at Parchman of neck injuries after an altercation with his cellmate.

  • Jan. 2 — Gregory Emary, 26, was killed in a fight at the Chickasaw County Regional Facility.

  • Jan. 2 — Roosevelt Holliman, 32, was stabbed to death in a "gang fight" at Parchman, according to the coroner.

  • Jan. 1 — Walter Gates, 25, died of multiple stab wounds at Parchman.

  • Dec. 29 — Terrandance Dobbins, 40, was killed in what MDOC called a "major disturbance" at South Mississippi Correctional Institution.

Follow reporter Lici Beveridge on Twitter @licibev

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This article originally appeared on The Clarion-Ledger: Mississippi inmate deaths: 18th dies in state prison since Dec. 29