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Second inmate at Donaldson Correctional Facility dies since Saturday


A second inmate at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer has died within the last four days, but it was unclear Tuesday how the man died. 

Elvin Burnseed, 53, of Dothan was found by correctional officers Monday “lying on a top tier in his dorm,” according to a press release Tuesday from the Alabama Department of Corrections. 

“Burnseed was immediately taken to the infirmary where life-saving measures were administered to no avail,” the statement reads. 

Burnseed was pronounced dead at 3:58 p.m. on Monday at the prison, according to the release. He was serving a life sentence for robbery. 

Court records show that Burnseed had a lengthy criminal history of burglary and robbery convictions during the 1980s, but no charges or convictions related to violent crimes. 

ADOC’s Investigations and Intelligence Division is investigating the man’s death, according to the release. 

Questions to ADOC on Tuesday evening were unanswered as of Tuesday night. 

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Another inmate at Donaldson Correctional Facility, Steven Davis, 35, of Graysville died Saturday after correctional officers “applied physical measures” to the inmate on Friday. He was serving a 20 year sentence for driving a vehicle during a 2006 robbery in which an accomplice shot and killed a man, according to court records. 

“On the morning of October 4, two Donaldson correctional officers say inmate Davis rushed out of his cell brandishing one prison-made weapon in each hand and attempted to strike an officer,” according to the press release.  

“After repeated verbal commands and the use of standard methods to disarm the inmate, Davis refused to comply. At that time, correctional officers applied physical measures to diffuse the threat in order to remove the weapons from the scene and secure the inmate.”

Davis was taken to the prison’s infirmary, according to the press release, and later taken by helicopter to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Saturday.


Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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