JACKSON, Miss. — Another state inmate death has been reported in Mississippi, at Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, Management and Training Corp. officials said in a news release.
Jesus Garcia, 39, was found lying in his cell on Saturday. He was unresponsive. Medical personnel were called and began life-saving measures but were unsuccessful, according to the release.
Garcia was pronounced dead at 12:52 p.m.
The cause and manner of his death are under investigation. There were no obvious signs of assault, prison officials said.
Garcia was serving a 20-year sentence for capital rape from a DeSoto County case.
‘Quickly as possible’:First prison reform legislation filed as Mississippi deaths pile up
He is the 15th inmate to die since Dec. 29 and the fifth in little more than a week.
On Thursday, Nora Ducksworth died at the Marshall County Correctional Facility. Initial indications were that his death was due to natural causes, but the cause remains under investigation.
Jermaine Tyler, 38, died Jan. 25, also at the Marshall County Correctional Facility with “no initial signs of foul play,” according to MTC, the company that runs the facility.
A day later, 26-year-old Joshua Norman was found hanging in a one-man cell at Parchman.
And on Jan. 28, Limarion Reaves, 28, was talking to a relative on a facility phone when he collapsed at the Kemper-Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility in DeKalb.
Last week, Mississippi lawmakers began introducing legislation that could help address some of the deadly problems in the state’s prison system, which has been rocked by violence in recent weeks and long-deteriorated living conditions.
“We need to get started as quickly as possible,” newly-named House Corrections Chairman Kevin Horan, I-Grenada, told committee members in their first meeting Wednesday.
Horan told the committee to be ready to move quickly through legislation in the coming weeks.
In addition, a group of sheriffs visited the Capitol on Wednesday to advocate moving more medium-security prisoners to regional jails, in order take pressure off state facilities. They said the plan could save the state $22.5 million annually, because it costs about $14 more to house each inmate daily in a state-run facility compared to a county-managed one.
Story continues below photo gallery.
Other recent inmate deaths include:
- Dec. 29 — Terrandance Dobbins, 40, was killed in what MDOC called a “major disturbance” at South Mississippi Correctional Institution.
- Jan. 1 — Walter Gates, 25, died of multiple stab wounds at Parchman.
- 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. 3 — Denorris Howell, 36, died at Parchman of neck injuries after an altercation with his cellmate.
- Jan. 8 — A.D. Mills, a 42-year-old Parchman inmate, died of “natural causes” at a hospital in Clarksdale.
- Jan. 18 — Gabriel Carmen, 31, was found hanging in his cell at Parchman.
- Jan. 21 — Timothy Hudspeth, 35, died at Parchman of what appeared to be blunt force beating injuries following an altercation with other inmates.
- Jan. 21 — James Talley, 36, died at Parchman of what appeared to be blunt force beating injuries following an altercation with other inmates.
- Jan. 22 — Thomas Lee, 49, was found dead in his cell at Parchman. MDOC has called his death “an apparent suicide.”
- Jan. 25 — Jermaine Tyler, 38, died at the Marshall County Correctional Facility with “no initial signs of foul play,” according to MTC, which runs the facility.
- Jan. 26 — Joshua Norman, 26, was found hanging in a one-man cell at Parchman.
- Jan. 28 — Limarion Reaves, 28, was talking to a relative on a facility phone when he collapsed at the Kemper-Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility in DeKalb.
- Jan. 30 — Nora Ducksworth, 52, died at the Marshall County Correctional Facility. Initial indications are that the death was due to natural causes, according to MTC.
- Feb. 1 — Jesus Garcia, 39, died at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. His cause and manner of death are under investigation, MTC said in a news release.