Inmate at privately run, Mississippi prison found dead over weekend

Published 1:44 pm Monday, January 27, 2020

An inmate was found dead in his cell at a privately run prison in Mississippi over the weekend, among the latest inmate deaths in a state that’s seen at least a dozen in the past month.

Jermaine Tyler, 38, was found unresponsive Saturday in Marshall County Correctional Facility, said Issa Arnita, spokesman for Management & Training Corporation, the company that runs the prison.

“There were no initial signs of foul play,” Arnita said in a statement.

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Tyler was serving a life sentence on a capital murder conviction from Rankin County.

At least a dozen inmates have died in Mississippi prisons during the past month. Many of the deaths happened during outbreaks of violence, and prison officials have attributed some of the violence to clashes between gangs.

More than two dozen inmates sued the state Jan. 14, saying understaffed prisons are “plagued by violence” and inmates are forced to live in decrepit and dangerous conditions. Entertainers Jay-Z and Yo Gotti are paying for the attorneys in the case, a spokesperson for the two confirmed. All of the plaintiffs have been inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Tyler was one of two inmates who died during the weekend in Mississippi.

Joshua Norman, 26, was found hanging in his cell Sunday morning at Parchman, according to a news release from the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton said foul play is not suspected in the death. Norman was serving a five-year sentence on an armed robbery conviction from Oktibbeha County.