South Carolina prison officials are investigating an inmate’s violent death at one of their maximum-security facilities Thursday morning — at least the fourth such death at a state facility in the past 13 months.
Department of Corrections (SCDC) officials said 24-year-old Ryan Mansfield died in an “altercation” with his cellmate early Thursday morning. An SCDC spokeswoman did not give the cause of death while the investigation is ongoing. The fight occurred in a cell at the Lieber Correctional Institution near Ridgeville.
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. South Carolina Radio Network is not naming the individual unless he is charged in Mansfield’s death, however.
It is at least the fourth case of an inmate dying violently in a state facility in the last 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.”