Two inmates were beaten to death in a fight with other inmates in an understaffed Mississippi prison that has been shaken by other deadly violence in recent weeks, a coroner said. The state Department of Corrections on Tuesday confirmed the men died at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and said officials are investigating, the AP reports. “Both victims appear to have died from blunt force beating injuries," said Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton. The department originally said the inmates died Monday night, but Burton later clarified that they died early Tuesday. Department spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher said the injuries occurred late Monday as the two inmates fought with other prisoners. “At this moment, it appears to be an isolated incident—not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings,” the Department of Corrections said Tuesday.
Violence is a recurring problem in Mississippi prisons, where many jobs for guards are unfilled. Five inmates were killed and an undisclosed number of others inmates were injured during an outbreak of violence in Mississippi's prison system between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3. Three of those five deaths were at Parchman. In addition to those deaths and the two on Tuesday, another inmate was found hanging in his cell Saturday night at Parchman. Burton said she was called Sunday to the prison, where Gabriel Carmen was found hanging the night before. She said corrections officials reported he had been irate and throwing feces before his death. An autopsy was being done. Prison officials said Carmen's cell lock had been jammed from inside the cell. One of the inmates who died Tuesday was Timothy Hudspeth, 35, who was serving a 10-year sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The name of the other inmate was not immediately released because a chaplain was trying to reach his family.
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