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Another man dies at St. Clair prison

Terrell Penick, 46, died on May 31 at St. Clair Correctional Facility. His exact cause of death awaits a full autopsy.

St. Clair Correctional Facility near Springville, Alabama. Google Earth

Just 12 days after a man died at St. Clair Correctional Facility another man serving there died, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed for APR

Terrell Penick, 46, died on May 31 at the Springville prison, Alabama Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kelly Betts said in an emailed response. 

 “While Penick’s exact cause of death is pending the results of a full autopsy, it appears that he passed away due to complications related to a pre-existing medical condition,” Betts wrote. 

Keith Richards, 55, died at St. Clair prison on May 19, but Betts said it’s not yet clear what caused his death, although it could have been health problems. 

“While Richards’s exact cause of death is pending the results of a full autopsy, it appears that he passed away due to complications related to heart failure,” spokeswoman Kelly Betts wrote. 

While the causes of these two deaths await full autopsy findings, drug overdose deaths are a common occurrence in Alabama prisons. Those deaths continued even during the many months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when visitors to prisons weren’t allowed. 

Trey Norwood, 28, was found unresponsive by staff at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton on May 17 and was pronounced dead. His exact cause of death is pending an autopsy, but foul play is not suspected, the Alabama Department of Corrections said in a message to APR

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Earnest Charles McReynolds, 69, died on May 10 at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility, the department said in the message. 

“While McReynolds’s exact cause of death is pending the results of a full autopsy, it appears that he passed away due to complications related to a terminal illness,” the message read. 

APR received a tip about these deaths from other incarcerated people. The Alabama Department of Corrections doesn’t regularly release information on deaths inside state prisons unless a reporter learns of the death through other means and asks for confirmation.

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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