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Deaths of woman at Birmingham prison, man at Bessemer prison under investigation

The woman was found unresponsive on Halloween. The man had multiple health problems and was being treated at a hospital.


A 44-year-old woman serving at a Birmingham women’s prison was found unresponsive in her bed on Halloween night and died that night, according to a county coroner.

A man serving at Donaldson Correctional Facility who had multiple health problems died at a local hospital on Monday as well.

Sandra Franks Hawkins was taken from the Birmingham Women’s Community Based Facility and Community Work Center to UAB Hospital for treatment and was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m. on Sunday, according to a press release from Bill Yates, chief deputy coroner at the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.

“An examination will be performed to determine cause and manner of death. The circumstance of the death is being investigated by the Alabama Department of Corrections – Intelligence and Investigations Division,” the release states.

Shelton Lorenz Foster, 68, was being treated in the prison’s infirmary for “multiple significant natural diseases” when he was transferred to UAB Hospital on Oct. 13 for treatment, the release states. He died at the hospital on Monday. An examination will be performed to determine the cause of death, the coroner’s office said.

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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