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Inmate Accidentally Electrocutes Himself

March 7, 1989 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ An inmate serving a life sentence for murder accidentally electrocuted himself by biting into an electrical cord while sitting on a toilet, prison authorities said.

″It was a strange accident,″ said state Department of Corrections spokesman Francis Archibald. ″He was sitting naked on a metal commode.″

Michael Anderson Godwin, 28, apparently was trying to repair earphones to a television set when he bit into the cord, Archibald said. A corrections officer making a routine check found him at 9:15 p.m. Sunday.

Godwin was severely burned in his mouth and tongue, Richland County Coroner Frank Barron said. It appears the electrocution was accidental, he said.

Inmates at the Central Correctional Institute are allowed to have small televisions in their cells but must use earphones.

Godwin was sentenced to death in 1981 for a murder and sexual assault committed while he was on work release for a 1978 robbery conviction, Archibald said. During a retrial he was found innocent of the sexual assault and was resentenced to life in prison.