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Authorities: 4 inmates found dead at a South Carolina prison

Authorities: 4 inmates found dead at a South Carolina prison”

Stirling said he asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to assist Corrections police with their investigation.

Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling tells The Associated Press the inmates were found Friday morning in a dorm at Kirkland Correctional Institution, which is at the prison system's Broad River Road complex.

The accused inmates, Denver Jordan Simmons, 35, and Jacob Theophilus Philip, 25, were each charged with four counts of murder in the killings at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, the state law enforcement division said.

Inmate reports say Kelley was sentenced to 15 years for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in Cherokee County. Authorities said he strangled his girlfriend and her 8-year-old daughter in Berkeley County. It is also home to a Maximum Security Unit, where the most risky and violent prisoners are housed.

Simmons and Philip are now serving life sentences for unrelated double murders.

Warrants for the arrests of Simmons and Philip allege the two confessed to luring the other four inmates into a cell and attacking them. He was scheduled to be released from prison in August 2020.

Simons was previously convicted of murder in 2007 and serving two life sentences. In 1998, he was sentenced to 75 years in prison. The facility receives, assesses and classifies every male inmate in the state who is sentenced to more than 91 days in prison.

In 2016, a corrections officer was sacked for allegedly hitting a handcuffed inmate in the face. An investigation by the paper found that under-staffing at the state's prisons has led to unsafe conditions that affects not only the inmates and guards but also the public. The officers faced charges related to the attempted murder.



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