Authorities: 4 inmates found dead at a South Carolina prison

Darin HammondApr 09, 2017

Kirkland Correctional Institution is a level 3 prison that houses inmates considered to be the most risky and violent offenders sentenced in the state.

An investigation is ongoing into the deaths of four inmates found on Friday morning in Columbia, South Carolina, at the maximum-security men's prison, Kirkland Correctional Institution.

Authorities say four inmates have been found dead at a SC prison. Stirling did not say how they died or release any further information. It includes a maximum security unit, where the most risky and violent prisoners are housed.

The State Law Enforcement Division and Corrections police investigated this case. The charge carries a penalty upon conviction for each count of death or a minimum of 30 years to life in prison.

Of the four inmates, Ham was scheduled to be released the earliest from prison, next November.

Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling told The Associated Press, the inmates were found at Kirkland Correctional Institution in the capital city.

Autopsies on the inmates will be conducted Saturday.

One inmate was choked with an electrical cord, while another had his chest pressed down while he was being strangled.

King's projected release date was October 2020. The prison processes almost 15,000 offenders each year.

Jason Kelley - sentenced in 2012 in Cherokee County to 15 years for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He was scheduled for release in August 2020. According to the paper, correctional officers have also been accused of assaulting inmates at the prison. Prison officials are investigating the attack and have not commented. The officers faced charges related to the attempted murder.

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