South Carolina prison officials have now charged an inmate at one of the state’s maximum-security prisons after they said he strangled his cellmate in a fight over the theft of food.
The Department of Corrections warrants state 34-year-old Michael Brice now faces murder charges for the violent death of Ryan Mansfield last month at the Lieber Correctional Institution near Ridgeville. The warrants say Brice made a statement “implicating himself” in Mansfield’s death, although no specific information is given.
Mansfield was in prison for five burglary and grand larceny-related charges that occurred in Richland County. He had numerous disciplinary issues since his incarceration in February 2015, including possession of a weapon and several violations for public masturbation. Mansfield was projected to be released next year. Prison officials have identified the cellmate as a man incarcerated for drug and firearm charges who they say also struck an inmate in February.
Brice is in his first year of a 13-year sentence for several drug charges and a firearm conviction in York County.
It was at least the fourth case of an inmate dying violently in a state facility within 12 months and the second death at Lieber in that time. In July 2015, 33-year-old Dusaun Brown died a few hours after he was stabbed in the chest at the facility which houses some of the state’s most violent offenders. Five months later, 21-year-old Donnell Candya, in prison for weapons charges, died from head injuries caused by “blunt force trauma,” at the Kirkland Correctional Institution outside Columbia.
Then last month, 35-year-old murder convict Ae Kingratsaiphon was stabbed to death at the Lee Correctional Institution outside Bishopville. Corrections officials have since charged three other inmates with attacking Kingratsaiphon and his cellmate in what they called an attack “without provocation.”