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Autopsies set after deaths of Mississippi inmates

January 13, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Corrections has announced the deaths of four inmates so far in 2021, and a private prison company has announced the death of one. An autopsy was to be done on each.

The department on Tuesday announced two deaths that occurred at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Caden Britt, 24, was pronounced dead Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to sexual battery on April 1, 2019, in Pontotoc County and was serving a three-year sentence. O.C. Brown, 67, died Monday. He was serving a life sentence on a murder conviction in Walhall County. Brown was sentenced Feb. 5, 2003, in Walthall County.

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Management & Training Corporation operates East Mississippi Correctional Facility. The company said in a news release Thursday that an inmate from that prison died that day in a Meridian hospital. Jerome Kelly, 56, had been hospitalized since Dec. 15. He was serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder in Pearl River County. Sentencing was in March 1998.

The Department of Corrections announced Thursday that an inmate from South Mississippi Correctional Institution died the previous day at Promise Hospital in Vicksburg. Dale Wayne Grayson, 70, was serving life for convictions on sexual battery and child exploitation. Grayson was sentenced May 24, 2012, in Jones County.

The department announced Jan. 4 that Randy Anderson, 52, was pronounced dead Jan. 1 at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Anderson was convicted of murder and arson, and was serving a life sentence. He was sentenced April 30, 2015 in Calhoun County.

At least 106 inmates died in Mississippi prisons from late 2019 until the end of 2020. Several inmates died during outbursts of violence in late December 2019 and early January 2020. The U.S. Justice Department announced in February that it is investigating the state’s prison system.