Police investigating possible killing at state prison

State police are investigating the possible killing of an inmate Tuesday night at a prison in Hagerstown, the fifth such incident at a state prison in six months.

State police said the victim was a 22-year-old inmate at the Maryland Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison. Authorities have declined to identify him pending notification of his family.

According to state police, the inmate was found standing near a bunk and with blood on his clothes about 10:30 p.m. by a guard conducting a nightly count. The man collapsed and was taken to a hospital, where he died soon after. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore will conduct an autopsy.

No suspects have been identified, though state police said several inmates were near the victim when he was found.

Prison officials told police the man had been serving a four-year sentence for first-degree burglary since 2011.

Since September, four other state prison inmates have been killed, with fellow inmates as suspects in each case, state police say. A 20-year-old man serving an 18-month sentence at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland for drug and gun convictions was killed in November. The other killings were at North Branch Correctional Institution in Allegany County, the highest-security prison in the state.

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