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Prisoner killed at Donaldson Correctional Facility as federal investigators visit facility

On the same day that federal investigators visited Donaldson Correctional Facility, an incarcerated man died after being attacked.

William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County. Google Earth
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On the same day that federal investigators visited Donaldson Correctional Facility, an incarcerated man died after being attacked by another incarcerated individual within the prison, according to sources within the correctional system and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.

Kenneth Earl Ray II, a 32-year-old man at the Jefferson County facility, was pronounced dead on Monday afternoon after receiving “sustained sharp force injuries” after an assault by another incarcerated individual at the facility, the coroner’s office said in a statement released on Tuesday, with the death being investigated as a homicide.

Sources within the Alabama corrections system who wished not to be named for fear of relation said on Tuesday that federal investigators were present at the facility on Monday. An ADOC spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Tuesday in time for this article’s publication.

The Alabama Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Services Division will investigate the surrounding circumstances of Ray’s death. According to records released by the Alabama Department of Pardons and Paroles, Ray was denied probation in late June of this year, roughly five months before his death.

In late October, U.S. Department of Justice attorneys and investigators conducted interviews with incarcerated individuals at St. Clair Correctional Facility in a visit related to their ongoing lawsuit against the state and the ADOC, a spokesperson for the state corrections department said.

Two days after the visit, Jason Wade Means, a 42-year-old incarcerated individual at the facility, was found unresponsive in his dorm and later pronounced dead.

At the beginning of last month, several men died at Donaldson Correctional Facility within days of each other. Two of those deaths, that 30-year-old Letrex Smith and 29-year-old Joseph Agee, are being investigated as homicides.

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John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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