SUNFLOWER COUNTY, Miss. — Two more inmates have been killed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman Farm, overnight.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections didn’t identify the inmates, but said they were died early Tuesday morning following what “appears to be an isolated incident – not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings.”
According to the Associated Press, the agency later confirmed that both men died as they result of blunt force trauma beatings.
They said they are still gathering details.
CNN is reporting one of the inmates was identified by the Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton as Timothy Hudspeth. According to the department, he was found dead in a bed and was involved in a fight with other inmates on Monday night.
Hudspeth was sentenced in April 2018 to 10 years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves responded to the incident on Twitter on Tuesday, saying “we have been working around the clock with MDOC and DPS to respond immediately and prevent this going forward. There is much more to be done here. We have asked them to provide as much information to the public as possible as quickly as possible. Transparency is the first step.”
This is at least the sixth inmate to have died in state prison in the past couple of weeks.
Gabriel Carmen was found hanging in his cell at Parchman.
Denorris Howell and Terrandance Dobbins were killed at South Mississippi.
Walter Gates was stabbed and several other inmates were injured at Parchman during a fight that spread to multiple units of the sprawling prison.
Gregory Emary was killed at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility, a county-run jail that holds state inmates. The same day, Roosevelt Holliman was fatally stabbed at Parchman in a fracas that led to multiple injuries.
The recent violence has led to multiple lawsuits.
Memphis-born rapper Yo Gotti and Jay-Z’s ‘Roc Nation’ filed suit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall and Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Marshal Turner. It says people in the Mississippi state prison system are dying because the state failed to fund prisons, resulting in violence issues because of understaffing.
Recently, Mississippi’s prison system signed a 90-day contract to move 375 inmates from Parchman to a nearby private lockup, saying it did not have the guards to keep inmates safe in the wake of recent violence.
Governor Tate Reeves said the state will be conducting a nationwide search for a new commissioner to lead the state prison system which he called a “catastrophe.”