Jan. 23, 2020

Report: 1 inmate dead, others injured in fight at the Mississippi State Penitentiary

by Charles Douglas Owens, II (author's profile)



Report: 1 inmate dead, others injured in fight at the Mississippi State Penitentiary
Jimmie E. Gates Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Published 12:35 PM EST Jan 2, 2020

One inmate is dead and several were injured after an apparent fight New Year's Eve among inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Sunflower County Sheriff James Haywood and County Coroner Heather Burton confirmed the fight among the inmates Wednesday, WTVA reported. MDOC has also confirmed the incident.

The incident comes after the Mississippi Department of Corrections announced Tuesday that prisons across Mississippi were under lockdown after a "major disturbance" Sunday at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville where one inmate was killed and two others sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Report: MDOC prisoner in Chickasaw County killed during prison fight, the 3rd this week

The inmate killed in the South Mississippi prison was identified as Terrandance Dobbins, 40, by MDOC. Dobbins was serving a life sentence for a homicide in Adams County and eight years for aggravated assault in Sunflower County.

In 1900, the Mississippi Legislature appropriated $80,000 to buy the nearly 4,000-acre Parchman Plantation to build a prison in the middle of the Mississippi Delta.
Vickie D. King/Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Corrections

MDOC spokeswoman Grace Fisher said Wednesday movement remains restricted statewide in the prison system.

The inmate killed at Parchman was identified as Walter Earl Gates, 25, sentenced to 10 years in prison from Coahoma County in 2015.

Fisher said the situation is under control at the prison now but provided no further information citing a pending investigation.

All state prisons, private prisons, and regional facilities are included in the lockdown for the safety of the public, staff, and inmates, Fisher said.

Inmates deaths: 2 inmates die same night at Parchman. They were 26 and 28 years old.

Hinds County jail death: Inmates indicted for first-degree murder in beating death of a fellow inmate

WTVA reported Burton said the fight happened in Unit 29 around 9 p.m. Tuesday and spread to other buildings within the unit. Burton said she was called to the scene at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Burton said the inmate suffered multiple stab wounds, possibly from a shank, WTVA reports.

On Tuesday, MDOC Commissioner Pelicia Hall announced she is resigning. Hall will leave MDOC in mid-January to take a job in the private sector.

MDOC: Commissioner Pelicia Hall resigning as head of Mississippi's troubled prison system

Incoming Gov.Tate Reeves hadn't announced his choice for MDOC commissioner prior to Hall's resignation notice.

Mississippi has the third-highest prison incarceration rate in the country, according to the latest Bureau of Justice statistics.

The prison system has faced staff shortages, complaints of gang activity among inmates and inhumane treatment of inmates.

Contact Jimmie E. Gates at 601-961-7212 or jgates@gannett.com. Follow @jgatesnews on Twitter.
Published 12:35 PM EST Jan 2, 2020


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