Inmate dies after attack inside private Mississippi prison

Published 5:04 pm Friday, August 14, 2020

The Mississippi Department of Corrections said Friday that one inmate died Wednesday after being assaulted by another at a privately-run prison.

The department said the attack happened at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler.

Lester Andre Henderson, 36, died before being taken to a hospital Wednesday, the Department of Corrections said. Henderson was sentenced to 15 years on May 2, 2013, for unlawful touching of a child in coastal Harrison County.

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The attack is being investigated by CoreCivic, the private company that runs the prison; and by the Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Henderson is at least the 60th Mississippi inmate to die since late December. Several inmates died during outbursts of violence in late December and early January. The U.S. Justice Department announced in February that it is investigating Mississippi’s prison system.

The Tallahatchie prison holds inmates from Tallahatchie County and the states of Mississippi, South Carolina, Vermont and Wyoming. It also holds federal inmates for the U.S. Marshals Service.

Mississippi has about 560 inmates in the Tallahatchie prison. They were moved there after the violence in late December and early January at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.