losangelesnewstoday.com May 26, 2018

SC inmates charged in killings of 4 other prisoners

09 April 2017, 01:56 | Amanda Barker

Kirkland Correctional Institution is located northwest of downtown Columbia

Kirkland Correctional Institution is located northwest of downtown Columbia

Autopsies on four inmates found dead inside a cell in a SC prison say they were all strangled and were killed within 30 minutes of each other.

The coroner says all four inmates died between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections says the four are John King, Jason Kelley, Jimmy Ham, and William Scruggs.

Warrants for the arrests of Simmons and Philip allege the two confessed to luring the other four inmates into a cell and attacking them.

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Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling told The Associated Press, the inmates were found at Kirkland Correctional Institution in the capital city. The facility receives, assesses and classifies every male inmate in the state who is sentenced to more than 91 days in prison.

Two of the inmates were also beaten or stabbed with a broken broomstick, according to the warrants released by State Law Enforcement Division agents. Kelley was serving a 15-year sentence for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Stirling did not say how they died or release any further information.

Kirkland has a specialized housing unit where the most risky and violent offenders within the state Department of Corrections are housed. He was serving a 36-year prison sentence for a variety of offenses, including charges of assault and battery, grand larceny, and two burglary in the second-degree charges. A spokesperson for the prison said that investigation into the deaths is forthcoming, according to CNN. He was scheduled to be released from prison in August 2020. In 1998, he was sentenced to 75 years in prison. The officers were charged with attempted murder and misconduct in public office, CNN affiliate WIS reported.

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