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Authorities: 4 inmates found dead at a South Carolina prison

Four inmates updated.jpg

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) -- Authorities say four inmates have been found dead at a South Carolina prison.

At approximate 10:35 a.m. four inmates were found deceased in a housing unit at Kirkland Correctional Institution.

The Department of Corrections released the names of the deceased individuals: John King, Jason Kelley, Jimmy Ham, and William Scruggs.

Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling tells The Associated Press the inmates were found Friday morning in a dorm at Kirkland Correctional Institution in the capital of Columbia.

Stirling did not say how they died or release any further information.

The State Law Enforcement Division and Corrections police are investigating along with the Richland County Coroner's Office.

Coroner Gary Watts confirms he's investigating the four deaths at the facility and says the deaths "do not appear to be natural."

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday morning.

Ham was a 56-year-old black male who was sentenced to 36 years in prison on charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, grand larceny and two second-degree burglary charges.

Kelley a 35-year-old white male was sentenced to 15 years on charges of assault and battery or a high and aggravated nature from 2015.

King, a 52-year-old white male was sentenced to 75 years in prison in 1998. King faced several charges including burglary, breaking into a motor vehicle, unauthorized vehicle use, larceny and vehicle theft.

Scruggs was serving a life sentence for murder and kidnapping charges from 2009.




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